February 09, 2015

Debate team picks up two more tournament titles

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Debate Team added back-to-back tournament wins this past weekend. 

The team, represented by Josh Rivera, a senior from Chicago majoring in political science and a two-time SIU champion, with partner Zach Schneider, a senior from Great Mills, Md., majoring in computer science, won both tournaments at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif.  The tournament was Feb. 6-7. 

The team won the invitation-only Point Loma Round Robin Tournament of Champions, which featured the top 12 ranked teams in the nation. The Sunset Cliffs Classic on Feb. 7 included more than 100 teams. 

“The Sunset Cliffs Classic is the largest tournament before our national championships,” Todd Graham, director of the debate program at SIU, said. “To do here as well as we did sets us up for our end goal; national championships.” 

The team closes out the regular season with a tournament at Loyola University in Chicago on Friday, Feb. 13. It will be the last tournament before SIU Carbondale competes in the two national college debating championships. The National Parliamentary Debate Association Nationals is March 15 in Kansas City, Kan., and the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence is March 20 in Liberty, Mo. 

Graham noted that SIU won national championships in 1988, 1996, 2008, 2013 and 2014.  The team has also reached the final four of a national championship for seven consecutive years -- a record for any university.