Debate Team captures tournament title
November 24, 2009

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Bryan’s debate team won the recent Tennessee Porch Swing tournament and finished as runner-up in the sweepstakes competition for the 50-team, 12-school event at Carson-Newman College.


Tori Stewart and Justus Stout won the parliamentary debate-style tournament with an undefeated record. Their championship round was a debate with a team from Belmont University on the topic of North Korea and its nuclear weapons program.


The sweepstakes result was determined by the success of Bryan’s teams throughout the tournament compared to that of other schools’ teams. “This was one of the biggest tournaments we have been in with this many teams from Bryan,” Tori said. “We also had a couple of people who are considering debating next semester.”


Bryan took four two-person teams to the regional tournament, with three teams advancing to the quarterfinal round: Vincent Smith and Laura Maye, Susan Wright and Natalie Henry, and Stewart and Stout; two to the semifinals: Smith and Maye and Stewart and Stout; before Stewart and Stout won the competition. Also competing was the team of Olivia Smith and Peter Fastenau.


“We had a good mix of returning and novice debaters,” Tori said. “For Laura, this was her first tournament ever, this is Olivia’s second year debating, and Peter is considered a novice” based on his limited experience in debate tournaments.


During the Nov. 20-21 tournament, teams debated on topics of current interest including food security, space exploration, environment and energy, and health care legislation, Justus said. Each team was given 15 minutes before their debate to outline their argument, depending on which side of the resolution they were given.


The four-year-old Bryan team used some of their non-competition time to mentor the new team from Covenant College. “Covenant’s team is just starting this year,” Justus said. “It was good to get together and brainstorm. We’re looking forward to the time when they develop to the point that we can really debate them.”


The Tennessee Porch Swing Tournament was the final event for the semester for the Bryan team, but members are looking ahead to the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association tournament – the state championship event – and the National Christian College Forensics Invitational – the national tournament – at Cedarville University next semester.

Click here for more Bryan College Debate Team information.