Published: March 13, 2012

Debate team wins Freshman-Sophomore Nationals title

Contact(s): Jennifer Orlando Media Communications office: (517) 353-4355 cell: (517) 980-0076 Jennifer.Orlando@cabs.msu.edu, Casey Harrigan MSU Debate cell: (706) 207-4753 harriga8@msu.edu

The Michigan State University debate team of Kaavya Ramesh and Evan Hebert recently won the Freshman-Sophomore Nationals title. They also were named one of the top 16 debate teams in the country –the youngest team to receive that honor.
 
Ramesh, from Alpharetta, Ga., is a second-year international relations, Chinese and comparative cultures and politics major, and Hebert, from Bloomfield Hills, is a first-year international relations major.
 
En route to winning the tournament, they defeated teams from the University of Iowa, Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. During the championship round against U-M, the team debated the issue of human rights in Bahrain, specifically the political implications if the U.S. were to intervene.
 
"We argued that intervening in Bahrain's human rights affairs would be politically risky for President Barack Obama, because we've offered Bahrain aid in the past and they have repeatedly rejected our offers," Ramesh said. "It would also hurt our relationship with the Al-Khalifa monarchy to aid the Bahraini opposition."
 
MSU last won the Freshman-Sophomore Nationals title in 2008. The team will be competing at the National Debate Tournament, hosted by Emory University, at the end of March.
 
"The win is a testament to the hard work of Evan, Kaavya, our coaching staff and the rest of our team," said Casey Harrigan, director of debate. "The teams at Freshman-Sophomore Nationals will be MSU's major competitors for the National Debate Tournament over the next few years, so the win is a great sign for the future. We'll keep up the hard work over the next month and stay focused on our goal of winning the National Debate Tournament."

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