CU Debate Team Finishes With Highest Ranking Ever

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

Cedarville, Ohio-In the last four years, the Cedarville University Debate Team has been advancing through the upper ranks of the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). With their strong 2006-2007 season, the team achieved a prestigious 11th place. This is their highest ranking yet, improving their previous rankings of 14th in 2006, 40th in 2005, and 72nd in 2004. Cedarville's debate team surpassed other nationally recognized teams such as UC-Berkeley and Notre Dame. They are also one of the top two schools in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

Cedarville’s dynamic season has included first place wins at the Western Kentucky University, Berea College, and Wheaton College tournaments, as well as a second place finish at Purdue University.

Cedarville finished out the season at the NPDA Championship Tournament at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Due to financial constraints, only four of Cedarville’s eight teams competed at the event. With half of their usual numbers, Cedarville persevered and secured an 18th place finish in a five-way tie. This was the first time Cedarville has ever finished in the top 20 at the NPDA championship tournament. Nationally, the NPDA is the largest parliamentary debate league, consisting of more than 350 collegiate teams.

Freshmen John Cooper and Geneva Wilgus teamed to win four of eight preliminary rounds.

Senior Joseph Dugan partnered with team captain and senior Emily Van Vliet to win five of eight preliminary rounds, advancing to the elimination rounds. They finished as triple octofinalists in the top 20 percent.

Sophomores Mark Miller and Courtney Edmonds, winning five out of eight preliminary rounds, also advanced to the elimination rounds. They impressively finished 17th out of 242 teams and landed in the top 7 percent.

Dr. Rebecca Sietman, the team’s coach, is deeply appreciative of her team’s efforts.

“This year’s NPDA debate nationals were historic for Cedarville. Not only did we achieve our best national ranking thus far, but I also had the opportunity to work alongside seven other coaches in running the tournament … [this] was a prestigious honor for me and for Cedarville University,” she said.

Sietman is an assistant professor of communication arts at Cedarville University.