Monday, October 5, 2015

Idaho State Junior Places Fourth at Regional Tournament

Mike Chen holding the gavel he received to recognize his 4th place speaker award.
POCATELLO—Members of Idaho State University’s James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society competed at the Fran-Tanner Invitational debate tournament on Sept. 25-26 at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. ISU Junior Mike Chen won the fourth-ranked individual speaker award in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) event, which included awards for the top 10 speakers. Overall, there were 50 debate entries in three divisions at the tournament.
Aurora Zantman and Karen Lei competiting
in British Parliamentary Debate.
Universities and colleges from Idaho and Utah participated in the annual, early-season tournament. Other participating team members included: Sophomores Aurora Zantman (Boise, Idaho) and Karen Lei (Chubbuck, Idaho) in British Parliamentary debate, and Freshman Jack Bradley (Pocatello, Idaho) in IPDA. 

I've been doing debate for over 7 years of my life, so I was ecstatic to hear that I could continue it here at Idaho State University,” said Chen, a transfer student who recently joined the team. “I loved participating at the tournament. It reminded me why I loved debate in the first place.
The James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society has a history of success. In March, Seniors Patrick Loftus (Coeur D’Alene, Idaho) and Brock Sondrup (Idaho Falls, Idaho) won the Pi Kappa DeltaNational Championship in British Parliamentary debate at Ohio University inAthens, Ohio. It was ISU’s first national debate championship. In 2007, ISUplaced third at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) NationalTournament. In 2008, ISU won second place speaker awards at both the CEDA National Tournament and the National Debate Tournament.
Jack Bradley preparing to debate.
“Mike is an excellent debater and a strong team player. We thought it would be a rebuilding year after our seniors graduated. But, we’re off to a great start. I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of this year’s competition brings,” said Rupp Debate Team Director Sarah Partlow Lefevre.

            The James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society is housed in the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion in the College of Arts and Letters at Idaho State University. To learn more about the Rupp Debate Team, visit its blog at, or find the team on facebook at ISU students who have questions about the team, or are interested in joining, should contact Partlow Lefevre at  

Mike Chen displaying his award on Idaho State's campus near Frazier Hall.