The Northeast State Debate Team started their spring semester right with a fresh new war of words by competing in the 2013 Volunteer Classic Debate Tournament held at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville on Jan. 21. The tournament included schools from Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina with debaters competed in four rounds.
“I am extremely pleased with the effort of all the students and, of course, the results; I look forward to further competition,” said Dr. Rick Merritt, assistant professor of Speech and Debate Team coach. “They dedicated their weekend to this academic endeavor and represented Northeast State in a very impressive manner.”
Debate team members Britny Fox, Rocky Graybeal, Nicole Neilson and Anne Rowell represented Northeast State against 15 teams and 30 speakers participating in the Parliamentary Debate novice division. The team argued topics ranging from increasing funding for domestic infrastructure to firearms and ammunition regulation.
Fox and Neilson teamed to face opponents from Valdosta State University, East Tennessee State University, and Piedmont College. Fox earned the second-ranked speaker in two of her three rounds of debate while Neilson earned a third-ranked speaker in the second round.
Rowell and Graybeal debated teams from Walters State, Morehouse College, Arkansas State University, and East Tennessee State University. Rowell earned a first-ranked speaker in the third round and Graybeal got the nod as the first-ranked speaker in the fourth round. Rowell was named the seventh-best speaker for the tournament. Graybeal and Rowell made it to the elimination round of eight teams. They won their first elimination round before falling in the second. They earned fourth place for the tournament.
The event was held using the Parliamentary debate format modeled after the Parliamentary debates in England. In this format teams receive the topic 15 minutes before the start of the round.