debate team
Club & Greek

MU Debate Team Reaches Championship Round in Tournament

Monmouth University’s debate team won seven team and individual speaking awards at a debate tournament in San Diego, California over the weekend of Jan. 21. The team competed against 60 other teams and twelve colleges and universities.

The team consisted of ten pairs who squared off against the opposition in six preliminary rounds. Each of these rounds were two hours in length. An argument to debate was provided and the pairs were divided so that three were on the affirmative and three were on the negative.

The argument chosen by the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) was, “The United States Federal Government should establish a domestic climate policy, including at least substantially increasing restrictions on private sector emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States.”  

Teams that won playoff rounds were eligible to debate in the one-round eliminations which led to the eventual championship winner. Many members of the team made it into the playoffs and won numerous rounds. Three pairs made the playoffs: Francesca Vaccaro and Alec Gulluian and Megan Fleitz and Rossana Valdivia. Another pair, Ryan Kelly and Phoebe Nelson also made it to the quarter final round after going 5-1 at the tournament and scored a playoff victory against a team from Cal State Northridge before losing in a close decision to a team from the University of Miami.

Phoebe Nelson, a sophomore political science student and member of the debate team said, “It was such a great experience and I’m really proud of how well we all did.”

University of Southern California and California State Northridge were defeated in three playoff rounds by team members Prachi Patel and Sabrina Saenger.

The pair made it to the championship round before ultimately losing to the University of Las Vegas’ team.

In addition to the playoff rounds won, individual team members also won awards for speaking. Prachi Patel placed 3rd, Kaitlin Allsopp placed 9th, and Bob Davies placed 10th.

Senior communication student Bob Davies said of the tournament, “It is amazing to see how much hard work and effort these students put in to following their passion.”

Faculty advisor and professor of political science, Dr. Joseph Patten, Ph.D. said, “Our debaters work really hard in researching the topic and in scrimmaging against each other prior to competitive tournaments. Even more than that, it is really inspiring to see how much our debaters care about each other and push each other to find the the best in themselves. I am the luckiest guy in the world to be a part of this team.”

To join or for more information please contact Prof. Jose ph Patten at Join the debate team and learn an important skill while making lifelong friendships.