The Grambling State University Debate Team made its first appearance in the International Public Debate Association’s national tournament, whcih was held April 15 – 17 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
The tournament, which featured some of the best debating universities in the nation, ran smoothly.
“This tournament went extremely well, thanks to both the institution and the people who helped made this a success,” said Scott Kuttenkuler, tournament director.
The level of competition was high, as only 16 debaters would make it to the finals.
Warren McElroy of the GSU Debate team broke and made it to the octofinals out of 56 novice debaters. McElroy also went 8-0 and was awarded the third best speaker award in the novice division.
“Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in it, and we have really worked hard,” McElroy said.
“Words can’t describe how proud I am of the GSU debate team,” he added. “It’s only a matter of time before this great university realizes the much needed academic relevance of debate.”
Kuttenkuler has already reconized the importance of a debate team at an university.
“This activity does more for the development of leaders and strong communicators than any other activity,” he said. “It is certainly a worthwhile investment. Your school should be very proud of you.”
Mary “Jorji” Jarzabek of LSU at Shreveport has voiced her enthusiasm about the GSU Debate team.
“The money spent on this form of education is so well spent because of how quickly you get results, and how many different areas of a student’s life it impacts,” Jarzabek said, during an interview at the LSUS Ethics tournament, April 1-3.
“The strides that Grambling made as a team over two semesters is phenomenal,” she continued. “I see your team making strides in two or three tournaments that it takes other schools two to three years to make.”
The team struggled to make it to the tournament but almost missed it due to the lack of funds.
“If it wasn’t for the donations, we wouldn’t have gotten this great opportunity to represent Grambling,” McElroy said. “We are definitely grateful.”