March 9, 2010
10-045

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Debate Closes Competitive Season

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University's debate team closed its competitive season with a successful effort at the Georgia State Debate Championship held Saturday, March 6, at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Melody Brooks finished as the fourth speaker in a field of 32 debaters. She and Kacie Franklin finished as quarter-finalists against 16 teams.

On January 29-31, the VSU debate team participated in the 2010 Webster Forensics tournament held in St. Louis, Mo. The Blazer team, which included Brooks and Kristi Eckfield, had a 4-2 record in the junior varsity division and placed fifth out of 40 teams from 18 states. Both Brooks, a history major, and Eckfield, a communication arts major, competed in Purdue University's competition in September 2009, earning fourth and second, respectively.

Earlier this season, the parliamentary team placed fifth in their division out of 15 teams at Louisiana State University Shreveport’s Red River Classic 2009 Debate Tournament on Nov. 6-8. Communication arts major Boston Foulk ranked as fifth speaker overall and first in the novice division at LSU.

Debate coach Dr. Michael Eaves said this season has been a successful one for the young team.

"The blazers really got on the map with this national tournament and our success at this and previous tournaments," said Eaves, who is also a professor in VSU's Department of Communication Arts. "I am proud of our team members, who competed against many students in their fourth year of college debate. They will return next year with more experience for an even more successful season."

Participation on VSU's debate team, which competes at both the regional and national levels, is open to all majors regardless of prior experience. Call Eaves at (229) 259-5116 or e-mail him at meaves@valdosta.edu for more information.