Published: Sept. 30, 2013

MSU Debate Team scores wins in first season tournament

Contact(s): Stephanie Cepak Honors College office: (517) 355-2326

The Michigan State University debate team recently made it to the quarterfinals of the Georgia State University National Debate Tournament.

The debate was held on GSU’s campus in Atlanta Sept. 21-23. More than 100 teams attended from around the country.

MSU was one of four schools attending to advance three or more two-person teams to the elimination rounds. To qualify for the elimination rounds, a team must have a minimum preliminary record of 5-3 and be among the top 32 seeds at the tournament.

Qualifying for the eliminations rounds for MSU: international relations, Chinese, comparative cultures and politics senior Kaavya Ramesh; international relations junior Aniela Butler; international relations junior Jack Caporal; international relations junior Quinn Zemel; math sophomore Margaret Strong; and international relations sophomore Tyler Thur. Ramesh and Thur are also Honors College students.

In addition, the team of Butler and Strong won two elimination debates against extremely strong competition from the University of Oklahoma and Wayne State University to advance to the quarterfinals.

“This result places them among the top 10 two-person teams nationally,” said Debate Head Coach Will Repko. “Overall, the team had an outstanding start to the year, traveling 12 debaters to one of the most highly competitive tournaments of the year. We also went undefeated against the University of Michigan.”

The team scored wins against: Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Emory University, New York University, the University of Georgia, the University of Iowa, the University of Kansas, the University of Minnesota and Wake Forest University.

The MSU debaters will now travel to the University of Kentucky, where the team of Ramesh/Thur will compete in its exclusive nine-team, invite-only round robin, pitting MSU against the toughest competition in college debate.


Aniela Butler, an international relations junior, and Margaret Strong, a math sophomore, debate during a recent tournament in Georgia.

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