November 7, 2018 – The Bryan College Debate Team has been off and running since the beginning of this 2018 fall semester. The team has hosted an on-campus exhibition debate, welcomed new members, and competed in three tournaments to date.
Per tradition, the team hosted a debate exhibition on campus early in the semester. Thanks to the support of eleven Bryan professors, there was standing room only in the Rhea County Room as over 100 students were in attendance.
Organized by Team Captain, Emily Webber, and Teaching Captain, Spencer Baker, and supported by the Debating Lions, the exhibition focused on the academic exercise of civil discourse. The Debating Lions tackled the topic of Automation Is The Future.
Volunteers from the audience made the final two rounds interesting, showing that debate is a little harder than it may appear. The resolutions reached were Freshmen Should Never Date and This House Believes That Thanos Did Nothing Wrong.
Always happy to add members to the roster, this semester has been no exception. The current team line-up of Walker Frizzell, Alex Daniels, Glorianna Sapp, J.C. Donoghue, Emily Baker and Spencer Baker and Emily Webber has been augmented by Jack Dunn and Alexis Wall. Accompanying the team on their first competition of the year, Abigail Ryan, Bryan alum and van driver extraordinaire, gave Coach Liz Absher the opportunity to concentrate on tournament details.
Walters State Community College, Tennessee Tech, and Cleveland State Community College all hosted tournaments this semester. Every single tournament brought stiff competition, even in the Novice category. Emily Webber secured a 6th place speaker award at Walters State. The nationally ranked Morehouse College team outgunned all the competition at Tennessee Tech but provided some great practice for the Debating Lions.
The Cleveland State tournament drew strong teams from the likes of Tulane, Mississippi State, Covenant College, Carson-Newman, and Middle Tennessee State University. Held during Bryan’s Fall Break, this tournament really tested our commitment to compete. Bryan’s own Spencer Baker captured the Championship Speaker Award and the team of Baker and Webber advanced all the way to the final round. They faced a strong team from Berea College and finished in 2nd Place.
The team’s success during this fall semester foreshadows great things to come during the spring semester.
Written by Elizabeth Absher, debate team coach; adjunct instructor of computer science
Edited by Britney Wyatt, director of marketing