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Public Affairs

Debate Team is No. 1 in Western region

May 10, 2004

Photo of Forensics Team members Team members Forest Bronzan, Robert Hawkins, Doug Mungin and Kevin BriancescoThe SFSU Speech and Debate Team ended the year with multiple wins at the 2004 Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) National Tournament and the American Forensics Association (AFA) National Individual Events Tournament.

The team, also known as the Forensics Team, brought home the first place trophy for sweepstakes in the Western region and ranked 24th nationally at the CEDA National Tournament, held last month in Louisville, Ky. SF State finished ahead of such competitors as Stanford University, Northwestern University, University of Southern California and Georgetown University.

Sweepstakes are awarded based on the team's year-long performance at debate tournaments around the country, taking into account the accomplishments of all team members, including beginners.

"Many of our students start without a background in forensics but we prove through the success of our teams in these national events that our students are as worthy and as capable, even if they aren't given the privileges and benefits of an Ivy League education," said Shawn Whalen, director of the Forensics Team.

The CEDA National Tournament is the largest policy debate tournament in the country. Approximately 180 to 190 teams from more than 90 colleges nationwide compete in this annual tournament.

At the American Forensics Association (AFA) National Individual Events Tournament held early April at CSU Long Beach, SF State had the second highest number of students in California to qualify in 11 events in the tournament. More than 850 students from 114 institutions competed in this event. Two SF State students had remarkable success at this tournament.

Doug Mungin and Robert Hawkins finished 12th nationally in Duo Interpretation, with their piece "Top Dop, Underdog." This is the third time in four years that SF State has reached that mark.

Mungin, a junior, also placed 25th nationally in Poetry Interpretation and Prose Interpretation with "The Flying Fist of Harlem." Hawkins, a first-year member of the team, placed fifth nationwide in Poetry Interpretation. His compilation included such contemporary poems as Geoff Trenchard's "Pox," Jamie Kennedy's "Beauty and Bestiality" and Kevin Briancesco's "I Used to be in Love with this Poem, then It Told Me that It just Wanted to be My Friend."

For more about the team, see previous Web stories: "Three students named All-American in speech, debate" and "Senior speech major named All-American debater."

-- Public Affairs Student Writer Audrey Tang with Matt Itelson


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