Published: Nov. 21, 2013

MSU Debate places fifth at Wake Forest tournament

Contact(s): Stephanie Cepak Honors College office: (517) 355-2326, Will Repko Honors College office: (517) 432-9667 cell: (517) 202-0178

The Michigan State University Debate Team placed fifth at the Franklin R. Shirley Classic Tournament – the largest tournament of the fall semester.

The debate was held Nov. 15-19 on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The top-finishing, two-person MSU team comprised Honors College students Kaavya Ramesh, an international relations, Chinese, comparative cultures and politics senior and Tyler Thur, an international relations sophomore, who finished fifth out of 175 teams competing from 70 schools.

The team of juniors Jack Caporal Quinn Zemel, both international relations majors, placed ninth while the team of international relations junior Aniela Butler and math sophomore Margaret Strong finished 33rd, narrowly missing the elimination rounds.

As a squad, the team recorded wins over reigning National Debate Tournament champion, Rutgers University, as well as Northwestern University, UC Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgia, Kansas, Iowa, Emory and George Mason. The team was undefeated in two rounds against Harvard University and against the University of Michigan.

“The MSU Debate Team had our best performance of the season at the Shirley tournament and it feels good to end the semester on a high note,” said Debate Head Coach Will Repko. “We look forward to the spring semester competitions leading up to the National Debate Tournament at the end of March.”

Wake Forest was the last tournament for the semester. Next up is the "California Swing" tournaments at the University of Southern California and California State University, Fullerton Jan. 3-9.

The MSU Debate Team is a part of the Honors College. For more information, go to

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