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Debate Team around Hawk statue in 2020

Debate Hawks Win First Place for Novice Program in 2020-21 CEDA National Rankings

The Monmouth University Debate Team was named the 2020-21 Novice Point National Champions by the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA), edging out the University of Houston in second place, and Binghamton University, which placed third. Monmouth novice teams collectively received the highest number of points in the national rankings, with each team earning a point when they win a round. 

“Special congratulations and deep admiration to all of the debaters for their toughness, grit, and resiliency in persevering through a crazy year,” said Joseph N. Patten, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, who serves as advisor to the Debate Team. “And a special thank you to all of the debate team alumni for coming back to help coach and judge our students this season,” Patten said. 

The CEDA novice division includes teams from approximately 90 universities and is comprised of non-scholarship debaters who generally have a year and a half or less debate experience. Debaters are categorized into three divisions dependent upon years of experience. Monmouth teams competed in all three divisions. Patten said that Monmouth competed in five debate tournaments this year, with approximately 35 students competing in at least one tournament. 

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Patten said there were slightly fewer debate tournaments, and all debate tournaments were held over Zoom during the 2020-21 academic year. “Debate is a great way to hone skills that are transferable to a number of careers and an excellent way to meet new and interesting people,” he added. 

Please contact Prof. Joe Patten to learn more about the Monmouth University Debate Team. No prior experience is necessary to participate.

Debate Team placed first in Novice Division