Debate Team Starts Strong

by Public Relations Office—Cedarville, Ohio

Cedarville, Ohio—Building on the foundation of their former coach, the Cedarville University debate team has kicked off the 2008 season successfully. The committed team captain, senior Courtney Edmonds, has led them on to capture top awards in two nationwide debate tournaments.

They have surpassed other well-known teams such as Northern Illinois, Purdue and Wheaton with their “unity, initiative and determination,” said assistant professor Matthew Moore, who is serving as the team’s faculty advisor.

The season opened at Purdue University’s Boilermaker Special, Sept. 12-14, with the CU debate team placing second among 12 universities, trailing the reigning national champions Western Kentucky. Students Leanna Baumer and Stephanie Devine reached the semi-finalist round, and Mark Miller and John Cooper finished well in the finals. The top novice team award went to Emily Witt and Abigail Eustace.

Two weeks later, Cedarville competed against 11 teams at Western Kentucky University. For the final sweepstakes award, the tournament combined scores from two different debate style categories: parliamentary and Lincoln-Douglas debate. CU secured first place in the category of parliamentary debate and finished in second place overall, without even competing in the Lincoln-Douglas category. Significantly, eight of the top 20 speakers at the tournament were Cedarville students.

When asked how Cedarville’s debate team has challenged him, junior Jordan Wood replied, “Debating has allowed me to jump into alternative mindsets, helping me to better see the weaknesses in my own thinking as well as identify empathetically with those who disagree. It keeps me aware of critical current events topics, giving me a more holistic understanding of this world and how it works.” Sophomore Stephanie Devine adds, “I've grown in character, critical thought and compassion.”