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Debate Hawks Wins Team Award at the American Debate Association National Championship 

Monmouth University debate team members Sabria Smith and Ariana Valencia received a team award after advancing to the playoff round at the American Debate Association (ADA) National Championship, hosted by Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, from March 5 to 7. The results mark the first time the University debate team reached the playoff rounds at the ADA National Championship.

Twenty Monmouth students represented the Debate Hawks, in-person, against debate teams from over 30 colleges and universities across the United States, including Boston College, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Harvard University, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

The topic of this year’s debate was: “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase prohibitions on anticompetitive business practices by the private sector by at least expanding the scope of its core antitrust laws.”

“When on the affirmative, some of our teams researched and ran a case calling for the removal of for-profit firms from the student loan industry while other teams researched and ran a case on the negative impacts of factory farming,” Joseph N. Patten, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and advisor to the Debate Team, said.

“Congratulations to the Monmouth University debate teams of Sabria Smith and Ariana Valencia; Nicholas Yalch (co-captain) and Brianna Palmer; Catherine Melman-Kenny (co-captain) and Sarah Reutti;  Elizette Castro and Erica Santos-Reyez; Rachel Tramontana and Richard Pitts; Maria Ortegalopez and Alexa Zupkay; Chyna Walker and Anastasia Francisquini; Haider Husaini and Nashaviyah Steward; Katie Palacios Barreto and Julia Schaefer, and Claire Gaston and Aaron Nitzberg for competing at the tournament,” Patten said.

Patten also extended special thanks to Monmouth University debate alumni Landon Myers ’19, Billy Siefert ’21, and Prachi Patel ’18 for helping coach the teams at the tournament.

To learn more about the Monmouth University debate team, contact Professor Joe Patten, or team captains Catherine Melman-Kenny or Nicholas Yalch. According to Patten, no experience is necessary, and the team will be traveling again soon.