Club & Greek

Debate Hawks Win Nine Awards at Western Championship in California

The University’s Debate Team won nine team and individual awards at the Western National Debate Championship at Sacramento State University in California on the weekend of March 7 – 9. Dylan Maynard took a first place speaking award and Saliha Younas received the 2nd place speaking award in their division of approximately 40 debaters.  Fourteen Monmouth students competed at the tournament.  The teams of Jessica Roberts and Ryan Kelly and Dylan Maynard and Saliha Younas also made it to the semi-final round after going 5-1 at the tournament before eventually falling to Weber State and Pepperdine University respectively in the semi-final round.  Monmouth had two of the final four teams in the semi-final playoff round.

The tournament included debaters from 10 universities including Pepperdine University, Cal State Fullerton, Weber State, and Cal State Northridge to name a few. Each year a topic is picked to be debated at every tournament. The topic for this year is: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing, indefinite detention, offensive cyber operations, or introducing US Armed Forces into Hostilities.  Some Monmouth teams created a case limiting the President’s authority in the area of drone strikes and others focused on indefinite detention.

Each two person team is required to compete in six rounds of debate, three on the affirmative and three on the negative, with each debate round lasting approximately two hours. There were two rounds on Friday night, four rounds on Saturday, and teams that made it into the playoffs debated in single round eliminations on Sunday. Monica Santos and Danielle Doud went 4-2 at the tournament and made it to the quarterfinal round. Joe Talafous and Nick Whittaker also made it to the quarterfinal round.  Jessica Roberts also earned a 4th place speaking award and Ryan Kelly received a 9th place speaking award. Michael Hamilton and Angela Ryan also went 3-3 at the tournament, falling just short of making it to the playoff rounds. Dan Roman and Kelly Craig and Sam Maynard and Michelle Grushko also scored impressive victories while debating in the upper division that includes advanced debaters, some of whom are on debate scholarships. Kelly Craig earned a seventh place speaking award in this division.