Arts and Entertainment Editor
The Debate Team and Pi Kappa Delta hosted Weevil Wars, giving students a chance to represent their schools in a debate tournament Oct. 6-7.
Sixty-eight competitors from nine schools debated. The schools represented were: Louisiana State University at Shreveport, Louisiana Tech University in Baton Rouge, La., Har-Ber High School at Springdale, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Stephen F. Austin State University at Nacogdoches, Texas, Louisiana College in Pineville, La., Henderson State University at Arkadelphia, Mississippi College at Clinton, Mississippi College and University of Central Arkansas. Three students competed from UAM - senior Joel Brown, senior Brian Rauls and senior Chris Halley.
Debaters debated for six rounds, and the top competitors debated in four elimination rounds. Judges selected a winner after each debate and the top competitors competed in the elimination rounds. Winners received trophies, medals, pens, gavels and points according to their level and score. The points earned will go toward a season-long contest for a season-long tournament held at the end of March.
The tournament split competitors into three divisions: novice, varsity
and open. Competitors, who competed in the novice division, have competed
in eight or less tournaments. Varsity debaters compete as students who
haven’t earned their bachelor’s degree and open debates are open to anyone,
including graduate students and coaches.
“You capitalize the C (in competitive),” Kuttenkuler said. “Some people
take this competitively; they overvalue the win and sometime lose focus on
how they do this.”
“(I am) extremely excited; this is my first tournament. I went 6-0 and I
was shocked because this was my first tournament,” Dunn said. “I was blessed
to have done so well.”
Judges for the tournament included students and coaches from UAM and other schools. Judges for debate tournaments need to be unbiased and to judge debaters according to the arguments they presented. Many judges judging in Weevil Wars are debate students, coaches and lay judges (people who never debated or judged before).
Judging often intimidates lay judges because they are afraid to make a mistake, but the International Public Debate Association needs people who haven’t debated to judge because of the need to have persuasive arguments by debaters.
Senior Lauren Raynor worked for two weeks getting the tournament in order. The coach and team helped to get everything ready.
Eric Bell contributed this article.
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ŠThe Voice 2007
Revised 09/17/2007 07:50:05 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/5_6/war.htm