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Seven colleges and universities from across the nation will be in attendance this weekend to compete in the first-ever Lafayette hosted forensics tournament.

The competition will consist of two full days of debate Oct. 7 and 8 in Pardee Hall.

“It is very important to bring this kind of competition to Lafayette,” says Scott Placke, director of forensics. “It enables other schools to come and see what we are about. It makes them realize that Lafayette is a real presence in the scholastic and debating communities. We are expecting this to be one of the strongest debate tournaments in the East this year.”

Teams which will be participating are from BrookdaleCommunity College, IthacaCollege, LockHavenUniversity, Marshall University, Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania, and WesternKentuckyUniversity. Western Kentucky is the reigning national team champion.

“I am very excited to play such a large role in the first ever regular season debate tournament hosted by Lafayette,” says John Boyer, debate coach. “Lafayette’s speech and debate team is growing in prominence and hosting a tournament only serves to increase and solidify our reputation as a nationally recognized program. Additionally, it is a way to raise the profile of the team within the campus community.”

The Lincoln-Douglas Debate tournament will have varsity and junior varsity brackets. The Lincoln-Douglas format is a persuasive policy debate where competitors are evaluated on their analysis, use of evidence, and ability to effectively and persuasively organize, deliver, and refute arguments.

Students participating at the varsity level will be Trustee Scholar Joe Dudek ’09 (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.), a math major; Marquis Scholar Mark Kokoska ’08 (Bloomsburg, Pa.), a computer science major; and Trustee Scholar Beth Wehler ’09 (Gettysburg, Pa.), a mathematics-economics major. Junior varsity competitors will be Marquis Scholar Christian Benante ’10 (Park Ridge, N.J.), an English major; Ryan Benjamin ’10 (Bronx, N.Y.), a civil engineering major; Marquis Scholar Sam Derrick ’10 (Etters, Pa.), a government and law major; Teevrat Garg ’10 (Haryana, India), an economics and business major; and Anthony Romanoski ’10 (Etters, Pa.), a chemical engineering major.

“We have a pretty young team this year,” says Placke. “Most of our students are freshmen and sophomores. While I expect great things of our older competitors, I mainly view this year as a growing experience. The new competitors are very smart and enthusiastic, so I think they will be amazing with a little bit of experience.”

Although the forensics season is still young, the highlights of the year will be the Pennsylvania Forensic Association’s annual state tournament Feb. 24-25 at LockHavenUniversity and the National Forensic Association’s annual championship April 19-23 at BerryCollege in Rome, Georgia. Lafayette finished third in last year’s state tournament and eighth in its division in the national championship.

Categorized in: Academic News