For the fifth year in a row, debaters from UAA advanced to the elimination rounds of the U.S. Universities National Open debating tournament, hosted by Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.
Six Seawolves representing UAA traveled to the competition to compete against more than 30 teams from across the U.S., including teams from California, Hawaii and Vermont. Although this was only their first or second intercollegiate debate competition for half of the Seawolf team, the fresh talent demonstrated their exceptional ability and continued the pattern of success the Seawolf Debate program has become known for.
The weekend event challenged debaters to engage on topics as diverse as recall elections, displaced refugees, home ownership and conditional welfare programs. After eight preliminary rounds of competition, one team from UAA– senior debater Amy Parrent and freshman Johanna Richter–earned a spot in the semifinal round. In the semifinal round, the team was charged with defending the motion that jury trials do more harm than good. Although the Seawolves did not advance past semifinal honors, their efforts were rewarded when Amy Parrent was announced as the fifth-place Top Speaker of the nearly 70 speakers competing. Only eight teams could advance to the semifinal round of competition, but the UAA team of Andrew Kerosky and Bexley Brown was awarded ninth place in recognition of having tied their teammates (Parrent and Richter) in team points, missing the break to semifinals on the tie-breaker of individual speaker points earned.
Also representing the Seawolves this weekend was the novice team of Judy Jessen and Jonathon Taylor, who missed the break to the semifinal round by only a single team point out of the possible 24.
The team next travels to the North American British Parliamentary Debate Championships, hosted by Hart House University of Toronto, Oct. 17. For more information, please contact Steve Johnson at (907) 786-4391 or Amie Stanley (907) 786-4354.