July 13, 2024

Debaters make quarter finals


In the second tournament USU Eastern policy debaters entered, Eastern reached the quarterfinals, a substantial feat considering their first tournament was two weeks ago. Rodrigo Leon and David Rawle broke into quarterfinals against Kansas City Kansas Community College the weekend of Oct. 17-19 in the Las Vegas Classic.
Leon and Rawle helped USU Eastern achieve a goal that has been out of its reach for 12 years. The two were the first policy debate team to break into quarterfinals of a debate tournament at the LV Classic.
For those who don’t know, the LV Classic is a national tournament in which schools from all over the country come bringing their teams to debate each other.
They separate into three divisions, similar to sports: novice, junior varsity, and varsity. Leon and Rawle entered the JV division, which had 18 teams, spanning from 15 schools.
The tournament ended up having seven rounds approximately two hours each. In order to qualify to get into quarterfinals, Leon and Rawle had to beat Puget Sound, Sacramento State, City College of San Francisco, and UNLV.
What made this phenomenal was the fact that this was their second tournament and its first year debating in college with not nearly as much experience as any of the other teams.
Most teams Eastern faced had almost five years of debating under their belt. Most of the teams that ended up in the finals were expected to be there, especially the top-seed Kansas City Kansas Community College who had only lost one round in the entire pre-elimination rounds.
Unlucky for Eastern, they were their opponents in quarters. Eastern ended up losing this debate, but went down swinging, winning one of the three judge’s votes. This was a crucial step towards the rebuilding of the USUE’s debate team.
“We hope for an increase in funding for next year so we can travel to more than just four tournaments for policy debate and show the world that we are back in the game, and we aren’t going anywhere”, said Jeff Spears, coach.