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Seawolf debaters open season at the Air Force Academy

by Michelle Saport  |   

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 Sept. 28-29.

The tournament featured competition from more than 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) 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 rounds to represent Alaska in the final round 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 skillfully 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 Oct. 11-13. For more information, please contact Steve Johnson at (907) 786-4391.

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