Cleveland State Debate Team Brings Home Awards

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Cleveland State Debate Team has something to smile about. The team just returned from two tournaments with three trophies! The team recently attended the Smoky Mountain Debate Tournament at Walter’s State Community College where Team Captain Alex Olive won fourth place in the Novice Speaker Awards competition in a field of over 100 students. The team also attended the John G. Fee Memorial Tournament at Berea College where they brought home second place overall in debate and second place overall in individual events.

“It's great to see our students achieve these awards in just their second year of competition,” said Dr. Michael Stokes, vice president of Student Services. “Laurie Rowland and the other faculty who work with our Debate Team are doing a great job in building a program that offers opportunities for students who are interested in debate and other communications competitions. We are really proud of these students!”

The team participates in parliamentary style debate, meaning they are given a topic which they have 15 minutes to prepare, then they have to debate it.

Laurie Rowland, assistant professor of Communication and Debate Team advisor, said, “They have already exceeded my expectations. I was hoping to get one trophy this year, and we’ve already won three! The majority of these students are first time freshmen, so for them to already be at this point, is just phenomenal! They are all really competitive and committed to what they are doing, and I’m very proud of them.”

“It felt great to win,” said Alex Olive, team captain. “Our team is very consistent and dedicated, and we all want to win, so that’s definitely a good thing.”

The team will be competing in the BBQ Capital of the World Debate Tournament in Owensboro Community College on Nov. 3-4, and looks forward to hosting their own collegiate debate tournament, the Cleveland State Forensics Classic, on March 23-24.

Mr. Olive said, “We are all looking forward to our upcoming tournaments. At this point, every single member of our team has won at least one round, so everyone is feeling more confident and ready to go! Ms. Rowland is one of the most hardest working professors I know. She has been great to work with and is always very helpful in trying to educate and prepare the team. Now that we are starting to win some and we have established ourselves as a team with a decent reputation, we want to host our own tournament and hopefully strengthen the community of debate in east Tennessee."

Ms. Rowland said she will need help from both faculty and staff as well as the community for the CSCC Forensics Classic on March 23-24, so if anyone would like to volunteer to be a judge or a runner, they should to contact her at lrowland01@clevelandstatecc.edu or call 423 473-2333.


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