Augustana Debate Union finishes Fall Term with growing membership, expanded activities
Members of the Augustana Debate Union are at it again in their 2012-2013 campaign, but this time, they have back-up. The program has grown in size and the activities have expanded, both on- and off-campus, with key achievements and a reinvigorated spirit on display amongst the Viking debaters.
During the Fall Term alone, thirteen students traveled to tournaments held at the University of Northern Iowa, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City Kansas Community College and Wake Forest University. Five of these students competed at the first intercollegiate debates of their career. Students have already begun to amass an arsenal of arguments on this year’s topic:
All of the hard work has generated quick dividends as Viking debaters have placed at half of the tournaments they have attended thus far. At UNI, first year students Luke Toppel and John LeChuga took home second place in the Novice division while first year LaDonna Miller and sophomore Mara Cantrell-Paulson advanced to the quarterfinals of the Junior Varsity division. Senior Andrew Heidtke was awarded the 6th place speaker award in the Open division that same weekend. At the KCKCC tournament, first years Becky Brosch and Omar Rizvi teamed up to bring home a semi-finalist trophy in the Novice division.
But the activity isn’t limited to intercollegiate competitions alone; the ADU has returned to its roots as a site for on-campus debate as well. The program’s skills were on display during Augustana’s Fall Convocation Day, as members of the ADU led a public debate on the importance of voting in the 2012 presidential election. The ADU also helped host a Presidential Debate Watch on October 3rd, providing commentary and analysis breaking down the arguments between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. Team president Andrew Heidtke led a delegation of Augie debaters to the West Des Moines-Valley High School debate tournament in September, where they distributed literature on the program while also judging future Viking debaters.
Indeed, the season is off to a quick start and participation is growing. During the Winter Term, at least four new Viking debaters will look to make their policy debate debut. The ADU has tournaments at Illinois State University, the University of Texas-Dallas, Indiana University and Northwestern University on its travel schedule. When combined with anticipation for more public debates, judging events and other community outreach initiatives, it is clear that the future is bright for the Augustana Debate Union.
Students interested in joining the debate team should contact Max Archer, Director of Debate at 309-794-7717 or MaxArcher@augustana.edu. Meetings are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5:00PM in the Augustana Debate Union, Sorenson 111.