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Debate Wins Team and Individual Award

Monmouth University’s Policy Debate team won team and individual speaking awards at the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship tournament, hosted by the University of Minnesota, from Saturday, Nov. 13 to Monday, Nov. 15.

Debaters Devin Coia and Valentina Lazoja received a team trophy for progressing past the quarter-final playoff round, which indicates the final eight teams. The team went 4-2 in the six preliminary rounds, going on to gain two wins in playoff rounds, including a 2-1 decision over the University of Houston in the Oct-Final Round. Coia also won a 7th place individual speaking award in a division of 80 debaters.

“Congratulations, also, to the teams of Rachel Lessig and Haley Lyons, Elizette Castro and Erica Santos-Reyez, Brianna Palmer and Sierra Ramirez, and Rachel Tramontana and Connor Vidnansky, all of whom scored impressive victories at the tournament,” Joseph Patten, Ph.D., coach of the Monmouth University debate team, wrote to The Outlook. “And a very special thank you to Monmouth University debate alumni Landon Myers and Sabrina Saenger for helping coach the team and for judging at the tournament.”

Monmouth competed against teams from 23 other universities including George Mason University, University of Indiana, James Madison University, University of Georgia, University of Houston, US Naval Academy, University of Michigan, and Cal State Fullerton.

Debates were held over Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions, but in-person debates are set to resume this spring. The team will compete from Saturday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 5., as well as in-person at the University of Texas on the weekend of Feb. 5. This year’s debate resolution is “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, most of our teams are running a case on the negative impacts of factory farming,” Patten wrote. “Please contact [Professor Patten] if you’re interested in learning more about the debate team. No experience is necessary and we’ll be traveling again soon.”

Story courtesy Matthew Cutillo, editor-in-chief, The Outlook