'13-'14 US Universities National Open
Seawolves Shine in the Semifinals of the US Universities National Open
For the fifth year in a row debaters from UAA advanced to the elimination rounds of the US Universities National Open debating tournament hosted by Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA.
Six Seawolves representing UAA traveled to the competition to compete against over 30 teams from across the US including teams from southern California, Hawaii, and Vermont. For half of our team this was only their first or second intercollegiate debate competition, and they demonstrated their exceptional ability in the pattern of success that the Seawolf Debate program has become known for.
The weekend event challenged debaters to engage on topics ranging from recall elections, displaced refugees to home ownership and conditional welfare programs. After eight preliminary rounds of competition one team from UAA earned a spot in the semifinal round. In the semifinal round the team of senior debater Amy Parrent & freshman Johanna Richter was charged with defending the motion that jury trials do more harm than good. While the Seawolves would have to settle for earning semifinal honors, their efforts were further rewarded when Amy Parrent was announced as the 5th place Top Speaker of the nearly 70 speakers competing. While only 8 teams could advance to the semifinal round of competition, the UAA team of Andrew Kerosky & Bexley Brown was also awarded 9thplace in recognition of having tied their teammates (Parrent & Richter) in team points, missing the break to semifinals on the tie-breaker of individual speaker points earned.
Also representing the Seawolves this weekend was the novice team of Judy Jessen & Jonathon Taylor, who missed the break to the semifinal round by only a single team point of the possible 24.
The team next travels to the North American British Parliamentary Debate Championships hosted by Hart House University of Toronto on October 17th. For more information, please contact Steve Johnson (786-4391) or Amie Stanley (786-4354).
'13-'14 US Air Force Academy Classic
Seawolves open season at the Air Force Academy
The Seawolf Debate program opened its competitive season with a strong showing at the 51st annual United States Air Force Academy Classic in Colorado Springs on the September 28-29 weekend.
The tournament featured competition from over 30 universities, including some special guests from Europe. After six rounds of competition on topics as diverse as whether Iran should be included in discussions of how to address the crisis in Syria to whether Egypt would be better off with a secular authoritarian government or a democratically-elected government with theocratic ideals, all three Seawolf teams qualified to advance to the single-elimination phase of the tournament.
Matt Stinson (senior, History) and Sarah Elton (sophomore, International Studies) qualified for the Quarterfinal round before being knocked out. Matt Fox (senior, Economics) and Brittany Bennett (senior, Natural Sciences and Environment & Society) represented UAA progressed through the Quarterfinal round but were eliminated in the Semifinal round. Hannah Foreman (junior, Economics) and Matt Ostrander (junior, Economics and Political Science) breezed through the Quarterfinal and Semifinal round to represent Alaska in the Final against teams from Slovenia, Serbia and Vermont. The final had the Alaska team speaking against the motion “Journalists who cover people in distress have a moral obligation to act as good Samaritans.” Though the Seawolf team argued that journalists are exempt from the moral codes that typically would govern laypersons helping another in crisis, the team from the University of Belgrade took top honors at the event.
Members of the Seawolf Debate program will host the Alaska Ethics Bowl on campus this weekend in cooperation with the Alaska Ethics Consortium and the Department of Philosophy. The team next competes at the Claremont Colleges in the National Debate Open tournament on October 11-13. Please contact Steve Johnson at 786-4391 for more information.
'12-'13 La Verne USUDC
More than 150 teams from more than 40 colleges and universities around the U.S., as well as a handful of international teams, met at La Verne University in Pomona, Calif. last weekend for the U.S. Universities Debating Championships. The Seawolf Debaters once again proved themselves as serious contenders in their last competitive tournament of the season.
The debates focused on a variety of issues from whether cosmetic procedures to alter racial appearance should be banned to whether vigilante justice should be acceptable in patriarchal structures that oppress women. In the end, two UAA teams qualified for the elimination rounds. After six preliminary rounds, Amy Parrent and Matt Fox earned the 21st seed overall, while Brittany Bennett and Wiley Cason advanced as the 32nd seed.
Debating in the octofinal round on the issue of subsidizing foreign companies who are environmentally friendly, both Alaskan teams were taken out facing tough competition from Cornell, Stanford, and Yale teams among others. In addition to the hard-earned accolades our senior teams garnered, UAA had a particularly young squad this year that excelled in their first-ever U.S. Universities Debating Championship. At the end of five preliminary rounds, three of our novice teams were still in contention to make it to the regular elimination rounds, and at the end of competition, three of our novice speakers placed in the top-third of the individual speaker field. Their remarkable performance speaks to the depth of our program and holds high promise for the 2013-2014 season.
The Seawolves are back at home working on a variety of events to promote debate in our community, including hosting the high school Northern Lights Tournament April 19-20 and Middle School Public Debating Championships April 27. The team is also preparing for the UAA vs. Harvard Debate on April 25. This exhibition debate over whether or not the time has come to repeal the Second Amendment will be at the Beartooth Theatrepub. Tickets are on sale now.
For more information, please contact Steve Johnson at (907) 786-4391 or visit the Seawolf Debate website.
Read more about the team on the Seawolf Debate blog.