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By: Thomas Jones, Staff Reporter
This past weekend the Regis University British Parliamentary Debate Team competed in the Rocky Mountain Debate Championship at the University of Denver. Eighty teams attended from eighteen different schools from all over the country, spanning from the University of Alaska Anchorage to UC Berkeley to Clemson University in South Carolina. The tournament took place on both Saturday and Sunday, October 21st – October 22nd, with preliminary rounds starting at about 9:00 AM on Saturday and running until a little after 8:00 PM that night, and final rounds, referred to as “Break rounds” in the debate community, starting on Sunday a little after 9:00 AM and concluding around 5:00 PM that night.
In their first tournament of the year, the Regis Debate Team did quite well; Regis had seven teams in attendance, three of which made it to quarterfinals and one making it to semifinals. When a team makes it past the preliminary rounds of a tournament into the final rounds, such as quarterfinals, semifinals and so on, it’s known as “Breaking,” and the rounds past the preliminary rounds are known as “out rounds;” so the three Regis teams that made it into quarterfinals are teams said to have “broke into out rounds” in the tournament. The first of these three Regis teams which broke to out rounds consisted of Siena Ruggeri, a Senior, and Catie Cheshire, a Sophomore; the second team which broke consisted of Allison Foust, a Senior, and Nicholas Aranda, a Freshman; the third and final Regis team to break consisted of David Cecil-Few, a Senior, and Thomas Jones, a Freshman. Topics in this style of debate change from round to round; the topic in the quarterfinals round of this tournament was, “This house would give judicial leniency to marginalized groups committing crimes against privileged groups.” Of the three Regis teams that broke to quarterfinals, the first team of Catie and Sienna made it as far as semifinals, where the Judges, unfortunately, decided they were not one of the top two teams in the round to progress into the final round of the tournament, however they still did extremely well, making it to the position of being one of the top eight teams in a tournament with eighty. The topic in the semifinals round of the tournament was, “This house prefers a world without sexual attraction.”
Regis also did quite well regarding individual awards for the tournament. Senior at Regis, David Cecil-Few, attained the rank of the sixth overall speaker. This is quite impressive when looking at the largess of this tournament, containing over 150 other debaters (speakers). This tournament also ranked novice speakers. The designation of Novice in debate means that you are new to this type of debate and this is your first year doing this style of debate. Regis claimed two of the five spots for top Novice Speakers at this tournament, with Regis Freshman Nicholas Aranda being fourth best Novice Speaker, and Regis Freshman Thomas Jones being second best Novice speaker.
Besides all the awards given out by the tournament, all the Regis debaters did exceptionally well. The other four, not previously mentioned Regis teams in attendance at this tournament consisted of Sally Andarge and Andy Nguyen making up one team, Donald Felbaum and Evanjalina Matoy making up another team, Noah Symmes and Rajat Gupta making up Regis’s third team, and lastly, Brian Brown and Morgan Stevens making up Regis’s fourth and final team. The debate team also showed incredible communal support for each other, continuing to stay at the tournament and support fellow team-mates who made it past preliminary rounds by going to watch their teammates debate rounds, making sure there are friendly faces in the crowd.