The Michigan State University debate team qualified for the 2020 National Debate Tournament at last weekend’s regional qualification competition at Northwestern University.
Universities are permitted to qualify multiple two-person teams – and MSU has qualified two such teams.
Eva Farber, freshman, paired with Ezra Serrins, junior, will represent MSU.
“It is rare for a first-year college debater to qualify for Nationals. But it is extraordinarily rare for a frosh to go undefeated at the National qualifying tournament,” said Will Repko, MSU debate team's head coach.
Farber and Serrins were the lone undefeated team at the competition. They started the weekend with wins over Wayne State and Indiana University. They then secured qualification on Saturday evening by defeating the University of Michigan twice in a row.
Lauren Pepper, senior, paired with Jack Scullion, junior, secured qualification by defeating a team from Indiana University on Sunday morning.
Pepper, Scullion and Serrins are also members of the Honors College.
This marks the 24th consecutive season that MSU has qualified for the National Debate Tournament. During that span, the team has reached the Final Four on 10 occasions – winning the National Championship three times. No other public university has won as many National Debate Titles during the last quarter-century.
In all, 78 teams will compete at the National Tournament, which will run March 27-30 at James Madison University in Virginia.