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Northwest Debaters Make Final Four at Tournament

Eagle debaters were awarded fourth place at the Oregon State University “Speakeasy” tournament on February 14.

They were among the 42 top students that participated from various colleges and universities including: Seattle University, Portland State University, Lane College, Humboldt State University, Oregon State University, and Willamette University.

Topics were announced 15 minutes before each round and included the Congressional stimulus package, U.S. relations with Iran, performance enhancing drugs in sports, housing as a human right, and the Suleman octuplets’ welfare case.

Each debate consisted of four two-person teams debating at once, with two teams affirming the proposition and two opposing. Each student spoke for five minutes and at the conclusion of each round, judges ranked the teams from first to fourth. The top four teams made the finals.

After five hours of debate, Northwest team captain Morgan Chinn and Kevin Botterbusch made the top four where they faced two teams from Seattle University and one from Portland State University.

The topic for the final round of debate was “This house believes that insurance companies should be prohibited from using genetic screening information.” Chinn and Botterbusch were assigned as the closing opposition team, which put them at a disadvantage as the opening opposition speakers took most of the arguments.

The judges awarded Northwest University fourth place with first place going to Portland State University.

Other NU team members competing at the tournament included: Tiffany Dikeman and Evan Whipple, Sam Ade and Emily Copple, and Joe Gannon and Ryan Mathisen.

The team is coached by Professor Gary Gillespie and assisted by NU alum Nigel Reed.

The team will continue participating in various tournaments, including the World University Debating Championships in Turkey at the end of this year.

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2009