January 23, 2008

Debaters continue to make strong showings

by Andrea Hahn

Debate Team Studio

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Debate Team spent part of the holiday break in Southern California and part of it in Denver. They weren't surfing and they weren't skiing. They were doing what they do best – winning arguments.

The duo of Kevin Calderwood and Kyle Dennis won one of two tournaments hosted by California State University Long Beach, beating out nearly 40 other teams. Dennis is a senior in business from Blue Springs, Mo., and Calderwood is a sophomore in political science from Chesterfield, Mo. The Calderwood and Dennis duo tied for third in the other tournament at Long Beach.

SIUC Director of Debate Todd Graham said SIUC is the only university with two different debating pairs to win tournaments this season. The other tournament-winning SIUC team is Adam Testerman and Josh Campfield. They won at Creighton University in the fall. Testerman is a sophomore in cinema and photography from Springfield, Mo. Campfield is a freshman in communications from Kansas City, Mo.

The team of Testerman and Katie Thomas tied for ninth in the first of the CSU tournaments, and then tied for fifth in the second tournament there. Thomas is a junior from Fort Collins, Colo., majoring in political science.

The SIUC debaters went on to a pair of tournaments held at the University of Denver and co-hosted by the University of Utah. Graham said about 100 teams competed at this tournament, representing about 50 schools from more than 20 different states.

The Calderwood and Dennis duo placed third in both tournaments in Denver. They also finished in the top 10 for individual speakers awards – a feat they accomplished in Long Beach as well. Testerman and Thomas tied for ninth in both Denver tournaments.

"This is a pretty huge deal," Graham said. "These tournaments were massive – the biggest all year and the biggest until Nationals."

The SIUC Debate Team also includes Nick Deml and graduate teaching assistant Benjamin Haas.

SIUC debates in both the National Parliamentary Debate Association and the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. The national tournament for NPTE is in mid-March at the University of Puget Sound in Washington. Nationals for NPDA are in late March and at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Caption: SIUC Debate Team – The 2007-2008 Southern Illinois University Carbondale Debate Team is piling up the trophies. Here is the team with some of the trophies won early in the season. Team members are (standing, from left): Josh Campfield, Kyle Dennis, debate program Director Todd Graham, graduate teaching assistant Benjamin Haas, Kevin Calderwood and Adam Testerman. Seated are Katie Thomas and Nick Deml.

Photo by Russell Bailey