Debate Team Wins Northeast Regional Championships

April 3, 2008

The Saint Anselm College Thomas More Debate Society won the Northeast Regional Championship Tournament Saturday, March 15 at Suffolk University, for the third year in a row. Saint Anselm received the first place Team Sweepstakes for Lincoln-Douglas debate and edged out Emerson College, Ithaca College, and Bristol Community College for the award.

Ryan Ollis ’08, politics major, went 4-0 in the preliminary rounds and defeated an Emerson student in the final round to take first place. Fellow teammates placed third, fourth, and sixth.

The debate team also received four Speaker Awards, based on speaker points. Nicole Thorspecken ’09 and Ryan Ollis ’08 placed first and second respectively.

Next up for the debate team is Nationals, which they have been preparing for all year. The whole debate season is based around this National Tournament. While the team attends 8 Invitational Tournaments throughout the year, the real teamwork and focus is aimed at the national competition, which will pit Saint Anselm against every school in the league, not just those in the local geographical area.

To prepare, students write both affirmative and negative briefs on their issue, which can easily add up to the length and work of a thesis. The team will hold practice nights in the upcoming weeks in which alumni debaters will return to campus to help the team before they head off to Tennessee State University in Nashville for the competition April 18-21. The team has had a history of success at nationals and hopes to continue that streak this year.


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