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SFSU hosts national debate tournament

March 16, 2005

Photo of four members of the 2004 debate team showing off their use of body language to make a pointWhile March Madness sweeps the nation with its opening rounds this week, a different major collegiate tournament is slated for the SFSU campus.

The 2005 Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) National Debate Tournament will bring 191 debate teams from more than 90 colleges and universities nationwide to SFSU at the beginning of spring break for the largest collegiate policy debate tournament in the nation. The tournament will take place Saturday, March 19, through Tuesday, March 22. Admission is free and open to the public.

This marks the first time that SFSU has hosted a national debate tournament. Many of the students will have traveled across the country to compete, from such schools as Stanford, Dartmouth, Harvard and Northwestern.

All rounds will take place on campus, except for the awards ceremony and Tuesday's final rounds, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport hotel.

This year's debate topic, determined annually by CEDA, the National Debate Tournament Committee and American Debate Association, has debaters forming arguments and rebuttals over whether or not the U.S. federal government should establish an energy policy to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

Shawn Whalen, the director of SFSU's Speech and Debate team, has high hopes for the varsity home team, whose main strength, he believes, is diversity.

"I think it's the strongest team we've had at SFSU in the seven years I've been directing," he says.

Ending last year's tournament with multiple wins, SFSU ranked 24th in the nation, ahead of teams from Stanford, Northwestern, University of Southern California and Georgetown.

SFSU is also a previous winner of the Founder's Award, presented to a long-standing team that has acquired the most sweepstakes points over time. Sweepstakes points are gained according to how many debates the team has won along the entire course of its tournament participation.

Other awards given at the CEDA National Debate Tournament include the National Championship Sweepstakes Award, All-American Award, and Bradley Garrison Newcomer Award.

Locations and matchups for debate rounds will be posted at 7:30 a.m. each day during the tournament in front of the Humanities building.

For more details on the tournament, contact CEDA President Kristina Whalen or Shawn Whalen.

-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with Matt Itelson


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Last modified March 16, 2005 by University Communications