The art of argumentation

Debaters from California to South Carolina, from Washington to Texas, were on campus last weekend for the 35th Annual Great Salt Lake Invitational Debate Tournament hosted by the U.

Two hundred twenty students from 25 colleges and universities registered to compete in the 11 different events, such as policy debate, after-dinner speaking, prose and poetry interpretation and impromptu speaking, said Dan Lair, graduate in organizational communication and organizer of the event.

“There is a good increase over the size of our tournament last year,” Lair said. Last year, despite efforts to save money by doing things like recycling trophies, the U team actually lost money.

“This year the money was donated, and we printed many certificates. Plus, we will donate the rest of the money to Red Cross who hosts a camp for Hurricane Victims,” Lair said.

The tournament began Friday afternoon and continued through Sunday, though many schools left before the final rounds were completed to drive home in the snowstorm.

Sofia Lingos, president of the Forensics of Utah Students Engaged in Debate, said it is always fun to host a competition at the U.

“We had a large number of schools travel to Utah for the match, and everyone had a lot of fun,” Lingos said. “We have been very successful as a team this year, and we are always growing which is exciting.”

The U had four teams compete in parliamentary debate, and they spanned all competition levels.

Randy Carver, senior in physics at Texas State University, San Marcos, said this was the first time he had been to Utah. He and his two teammates said they liked the snow experience but probably would hate it if they had to stay too long.

“I did soccer in high school and I would much rather have done debate. I love it,” said Amy Krattiger, a member of the Carroll College debate team in Montana, whose team won the four-year college award sweeps. Krattiger won first place in junior persuasive speaking.

“Debate will get you farther in life than football or basketball. You will always benefit from practicing speaking skills,” said Jason Zeller, junior in 3-D animation at Utah Valley State College.

Charlie Ainscough, junior in political science at the U, competed in parliamentary debate and said he likes debate because it gives him the opportunity to discuss academic topics in a way he doesn’t have a chance to in normal, everyday conversation.

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