UM Debate Wins Tournament Championships in Season Opener
Each year, the Season Opener hosted by Georgia State University in Atlanta is one of the largest and most intensely competitive intercollegiate policy debate tournaments in the country. This year was no exception, and the UM Debate Team dominated their competition on September 15-17, winning two of the three championships offered by the event (Harvard won the third).
In Novice Debate, Sana Hasija and Zach Homeijer were undefeated, advancing into the final round where they won a 3-0 decision against student debaters from Indiana University to earn the title of Novice Champions. Zach was also recognized as the top debater in the division. In the Junior Varsity Division, Jiaying Li and Julia Lynch won five out of six preliminary debates to advance into the Quarterfinals where they won 3-0 against The University of Houston. In semifinals, they defeated The University of Texas, San Antonio on a 2-1 vote of the judges, and in finals, they won 3-0 over the team from Samford University. Julia was named the second place individual speaker in the division. Jiaying, from China, said about her experience, “I’m really excited. Debating in a second language is never easy, but it has been the most educational and rewarding experience in my college years. I still can’t believe that Julia and I finally did it! This is such a cool way to start my last semester at UM. Love it!”
The UM policy team worked throughout the summer, with Homeijer, Li, and Lynch attending the Arizona Debate Institute in Tempe to research and prepare for the year-long topic, Limiting the Executive Power of the President. They are coached by Professor Patrick Waldinger. After the tournament, Waldinger said “Winning two divisions at a tournament is a special accomplishment. I am extremely lucky and honored to coach such amazing and talented students. I am looking forward to many more great accomplishments for UM Debate!”
The UM Debate Program is directed by Professor David Steinberg. Participation is open to all full time UM undergraduate students. No prior experience is required.
The next tournament for the UM team will be at The University of North Georgia, where UM students will compete in Spanish and English language Parliamentary Debate. UM Debate will also host a UChat (moderated discussion) on Sept 26 from 6:30 – 7:30 PM in the Shalala Student Activities Center, Senate Room. The topic is, “Should companies promote their belief in something, even if it means sacrificing everything?” The UChat is open to the public.