Saint Anselm Debate Team is victorious at two debate tournaments

David Trumble, Guest Location

The College Debate Team has been 1st place team at both the Otterbein University tournament in Westerville, Ohio in December and the Ithaca College tournament in Ithaca, New York in early February.

At the Otterbein tournament, Edward Frankonis (’19) took 1st place in IPDA (public debate), winning the tournament against Davis and Elkins College from West Virginia. Edward was also 1st place speaker while Jacob Halterman (’21) was 2nd place speaker, based on speaker points. In LD debate, Drew Collins (’19) was 8th place speaker.

At the Ithaca College tournament, Jacob was 1st place overall IPDA debater, winning the tournament. In addition to winning the tournament, Jacob won the Exhibition Debate at the end of the tournament on an 11-5 decision over Ithaca College. Also, Jacqui Spear (’21) was 1st place speaker in IPDA debate and Jacob was 2nd place speaker, based on speaker points.

The College’s Lincoln-Douglas policy debate team also excelled at the Ithaca College tournament. Senior Cassy Moran (’19) reached the Final round and Drew Collins (’19) reached the Semifinal round.

It was a tremendous accomplishment for the team to have debaters in the final round of both the IPDA (public debate) and LD (policy debate) at the same tournament. There were many other notable debate schools there, including John Carroll University, Lafayette College, Capital University, Penn State University, and Ithaca College. The team took 2nd place overall sweepstakes due to the success of the entire team including Joshua Caruso (’19) in IPDA and Maggie McSherry (’20) in LD.

The team also competed at the Northeast Championships at Suffolk University in mid-February and took 6th place in combined debate and speech sweepstakes. The team was represented by Josh Caruso (’19), Erica Davis (’20), Rose Callahan (’22) and Neil Craffey (’22). Also, alumni Katie Muzzy (’15) and Gregory Valcourt (early graduate class of ’19) assisted the team as judges at the Suffolk tournament.

The team also was honored to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. program of events in January by holding a public debate on the topic of whether undocumented immigrants should be granted amnesty. The students who conducted the hour long well-reasoned debate about our nation’s immigration policy were Josh Caruso (’19), Erica Davis (’20), Neil Craffey (’22) and Jacqui Spear (’21).

The team also was recently invited to speak to a cohort of multiple Conversatio seminar classes about debate. The students in these classes are preparing for their own classroom debates. A group of debaters from the team shared their experiences and gave the students valuable tips on how to frame a topic, how to research and organize their material, a guide to improving non-verbal communication, how to design their speeches and how to give rebuttal speeches.

The team will conclude its competition season with LD tournaments at Hillsdale College in Michigan and John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio over the next month. The team’s three policy debaters (Drew Collins, Margaret McSherry and Cassandra Moran) have been debating the same topic (US cybersecurity policy) all year. They have each now put in hundreds of hours working on this one topic. The final two tournaments will be the culmination of a year’s worth of research, brief writing and practice rounds.

Students interested in debate are welcome to contact the coach, David Trumble, or any of the students on the team, and follow us on Instagram at: saintanselmdebate.