Debate

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Patrick Loftus and Jason Byron Take Fourth Place in WSCA Tournament

Patrick Loftus, Aurora Zantman, Cameo Curnutt, and Jason Byron at Gonzaga University for the WSCA Debate Tournament. 
Idaho State University’s James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society placed fourth and was recognized for debate and speaking at the Western States Communication Association (WSCA) tournament over the weekend of February 21st. Senior Patrick Loftus (Coeur d’Alene, ID) and junior Jason Byron (Idaho Falls, ID) were recognized as the 6th and 7th place speakers, were finalists, and placed 4th overall.  

Sixteen schools from across the northwest participated in the tournament hosted at Gonzaga University’s campus, in Spokane WA. There were sixty-one debate entries across three divisions of debate.  Idaho State participated in British Parliamentary debate, a team debate that features a persuasive speaking style on topics pulled from recent news stories.

ISU debaters supported and opposed a variety of topics over five preliminary rounds. Both ISU teams were on the supporting side of instituting quotas based on socio-economic status in public schools, and argued against the food industry having an obligation to make currently unhealthy foods healthier.
Jason Byron & Partick Loftus Prepare to debate at Gonzaga University.

The final round topic focused on media stereotypes. Loftus and Byron were required to support the position that television actors of a minority group have a moral obligation to reject roles that are negative or stereotypical. Their primary argument was that negative or stereotypical roles violate a person’s basic human dignity, and that actors should reject these roles to protect their own sense of human worth.


Also in the final round were teams from Carroll College, Gonzaga University and Northwest University. A panel of judges from regional universities ranked each team in the debate. Idaho State’s team took fourth place and Gonzaga University’s team, who also supported actors’ rejection of stereotypical roles, took first place in the round.

Assistant Director of Forensics, Willow Moline said, “The final round was a tough debate, with excellent arguments from all of the teams involved. Patrick and Jason gave speeches that were compelling and engaging, and reflected the work they have been putting into developing their skills.”


Also competing for ISU were junior Aurora Zantman (Kuna, ID) and freshman Cameo Curnutt (Las Vegas, NV). Zantman and Curnutt took second place in over half of their rounds. Director of Forensics, Sarah Partlow-Lefevre remarked, “Cameo and Aurora did very well, especially considering that this was the first tournament for Cameo. They have grown as debaters and can be very proud of their performance.”  
Cameo Curnutt and Aurora Zantman at the WSCA Debate tournament.  
Idaho State Debate will be travelling to Salem, OR the weekend of the 28th for the Hatfield Memorial Debates, before wrapping up the season in early March at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament, hosted by Ohio University.