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DEBATE: Award winning team adds to long list of accolades

Written By: Marquez Slaughter

VSU’s Speech and Debate Team may be considered the underdogs on campus when it comes down to the school’s competitive activities against other universities, but the team brings wins as well as championships to the university.

Members of the Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team consider themselves the homecoming champions from their win in the VSU Blazer Classic which took place Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 during VSU’s Homecoming week.

The team also won first place in the sixth annual UNG Chicken and Egg Tournament on Sept. 26 through Sept. 28.

In the VSU Blazer Classic, the team went up against eight different schools, three of which were from different states.

The Blazers were able to get five teams to break, which qualified all of the VSU debaters as quarter finalist.

The awards won in the tournament were Mercy Dahn with first in IPDA; Erin Taliaferro won first place IPDA varsity speaker; Hannah Tabriza and Allante Fairlay won first place MPDA together; and Lexi Outlaw and Erin Taliaferro won semi-finalist MPDA together.

“I’m very proud of all my debaters this year,” Keven Rudrow, the forensics team’s assistant coach, said.  “I may be their coach, but all of their hard work and dedication is because of their commitment, love of debate, and desire to be better debaters.”

Dr. Michael Eaves, head coach of the forensics team, was able to debate for the first time with VSU and won best speaker.

All together, the team has at least 20 trophies.

During the team’s practice on Tuesday, some of the team members confidently took the stand before their other teammates, and with such speed in their speech, they explained how they simply broke their opponents about the topic of Ebola.

The other teammates listened and took notes. They ended by giving their honest feedback to help build their teammates’ debating and speech skills.

Eaves invites students to come and join the forensics team. No experience is required, “but it does require a high GPA,” Taliaferro said.

Eaves can be contacted at (229) 259-5116 or meaves@valdosta.edu if interested or in need of more information.

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