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By: Thomas Jones, Staff Reporter
On Friday, February 9, four members of the Regis University Debate team flew to Syracuse, New York where they then drove to Cornell University to compete in the British Parliamentary 2018 Novice Nationals Tournament. The term ‘Novice’ in debate refers to an individual who is competing in their first year of college debate. The tournament lasted all day Saturday, February 10, and most of Sunday, February 11. Two teams from Regis attended this tournament, both consisting entirely of Regis Freshman. The teams were Evanjalina Matoy debating with Rajat Gupta, and Nicholas Aranda debating with Thomas Jones. The competition at the tournament was quite heavy, having a large portion of the teams coming from Ivy League Universities. However, in spite of this competition both Regis teams debated exceptionally well, with Nicholas and Thomas being one point away from proceeding to the out rounds of the tournament.
There was a wide array of topics at the Cornell Novice National tournament, ranging from issues relating to feminism and gender neutrality such as, “This house would combine best actor and actress awards at film and television awards shows (e.g. the Oscars, Emmys) into a single, gender-neutral award;” to issues discussing government foreign policy such as “This house believes that development aid should not attempt to change government structures or internal politics in developing countries (e.g. corruption, elections).” The tournament also had two other divisions for debaters who weren’t Novices, yet still debated the same topics in their preliminary rounds. They had an open division for more experienced college debaters who have competed in more than one year of college debate and a Spanish division for Spanish speaking students. The novice division of the tournament broke to quarterfinals, with the Ivy League Schools making up almost the entirety of the sixteen teams heading into quarterfinals. The finals round of Novice Nationals consisted of only Ivy League teams such as Harvard and Princeton. The finals round topic was, “This house regrets the cultural narrative of ‘do what you love.’”
After almost four days of being in Ithaca, New York and two days of debate, the four debaters and their coach, Regis University Communications Professor, Jon Denzler, flew back to Denver on Monday, arriving late that evening. The Regis debate team will leave again in about a week, taking three teams to compete in the Loyola Chicago Invitational on February 24 – 25.