The University of Louisiana Debate Team returned early Tuesday morning from a highly successful performance at the Georgia State University National Debate Tournament, the largest Fall semester policy debate tournament in the nation.

The tournament attracted over 180 debate teams from around the nation, including Harvard, Cal-Berkeley, Georgetown, Texas, Emory and Wake Forest. As the only policy debate program from the State of Louisiana, UL debaters defeated teams from Vanderbilt, Samford, Central Florida, Miami, West Georgia, Georgia, and Florida.

This was the first college debate tournament for the UL freshmen debaters. Junior Varsity debaters Kari and Ashley Fleming advanced on a 4-2 preliminary rounds record to quarterfinals. In quarterfinals, they defeated the 2nd seed University of Wisconsin debate team. Junior varsity debaters Nicholas Roszczynialski and Ian Sorensson advanced to quarterfinals with a 5-1 record, in quarterfinals, defeating a team from Samford to advance. Unfortunately, the two UL teams were pitted against each other in the semi-final round, where Roszczynialski and Sorensson advanced to finals based on their preliminary rounds record and the Fleming sisters were awarded third place in the tournament. Roszczynialski and Sorensson were defeated in the final round by Samford University’s top team. Having taken only two teams to the first national tournament of the year, UL’s success continued to demonstrate academic excellence in the face of economic adversity.

This year’s national debate topic addresses United States immigration policy. The UL debate team’s affirmative case in favor of visas for undocumented victims of domestic abuse went undefeated throughout the tournament. UL debaters were successful on the negative side of the proposition by arguing that unchecked immigration creates environmental damage in addition to arguing that many temporary worker visa programs are masking forms of neocolonialism.

Debate program director and head coach is Dr. Scott Elliott, and graduate coaching assistant coaches are Judson Eldredge and Avery Henry. The UL  Debate team is open to any undergraduate student. Students interested in joining the debate team can contact Dr. Scott Elliott by clicking here.


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