VSU Debate Team Earns Highest Rank at Tournament

February 17, 2011

Chris Duncan, Student Intern

VSU Debate Team Earns Highest Rank at Tournament

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University’s Forensics and Debate team began the year with a successful weekend at Webster University’s Gorlock Debate Tournament in St. Louis last month.

During the tournament, which was held Jan. 27 to 30, the team divided into teams of two to debate other teams. The teams discussed topics such as the Hezbollah/Lebanon debate, year-round school and immigration.

Two VSU teams, one comprised of Amber Brown and Gabriel Terrell, and one comprised of Matthew Hartman and Yannick Gill, became quarter finalists. Brown and Terrell’s team was also named top seed (highest ranking) with a 5-1 record. This is the first time a team from the VSU debate team ever earned top seed.

“The goal is to do as well as possible and to 'break', meaning you make the eliminations each round,” explained Dr. Michael Eaves, coach for the debate team. “As vice president of the Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association, I was excited at how well we performed at the tournament.”

Other team members who attended the tournament include Kacie Franklin, Melody Brooks, J.B. Desselle and Aaron Quinn. Graduate student helpers, John Mikolajcik and Micah Moore, and Assistant Coach Adam Brumfield also attended along with Eaves.

The tournament included teams from 36 schools throughout 14 states.

Eaves expressed his excitement about future events that the debate team plans to attend as the year progresses as well as upcoming events next year.

“I am really looking forward to hosting the state championship here at VSU in 2012,” he said.

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.