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On January 30 through February 1, members of the Augustana Debate Union played host to a series of debates. The 2009 Viking Debates featured competitors from fifteen schools throughout the Midwest.

Augustana students Jamila Washington, Erich Deicke, Kofi Sam and Samantha Hoffman took a break from their studies to help set up meals, administer ballots and deliver awards to debaters from Concordia College (MN), Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas State University, the University of Miami (OH), the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Northern Iowa.

The Viking Debates offer an opportunity for the debate team to put on competitions for rival schools over this year's topic:

Resolved: that the United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its agricultural support, at least eliminating nearly all of the domestic subsidies, for biofuels, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, corn, cotton, dairy, fisheries, rice, soybeans, sugar and/or wheat.

The Varsity division at this year's Viking Debates was won by Northwestern University (IL), who defeated the University of Iowa in the finals debate. The University of Minnesota completed an undefeated run by emerging victorious against Illinois State University in the finals of the Junior Varsity division. Capital University (OH) won the novice division by eliminating Illinois State in the final round.

The Viking debaters were joined by students from Coach Archer's SPCM 211 class, Communication, Politics and Citizenship. These students sacrificed their weekend to help out with the tournament, despite having no debate experience themselves.

Augustana Debate has completed the regular season schedule and is preparing for two national championship tournaments. On March 16, first-year student Erich Deicke and junior Samantha Hoffman will travel to Overland Park, Kansas, to compete in the National Junior Division Debate Tournament held at Johnson County Community College. Sophomore Kofi Sam and first-year Jamila Washington will travel to Pocatello, Idaho, on March 20 to take part in the largest college debate tournament in the country, the Cross Examination Debate Association's National Championship.


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