Last month, the FIU Debate Team hosted their first two-day regional debate tournament, Surf n’ Turf, at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus. Students from several universities including Mercer University in Georgia, Broward College, and Miami Dade College, successfully competed for the first place trophy and National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE) points. The tournament was conducted in an open NPDA style and attracted out-of-town visitors because of the success the FIU Debate Team and the professional and positive influences FIU debaters have made nationwide.
“I met the FIU Debate Team at the last tournament we competed in and was so impressed by the students’ engaging and savvy nature. My impression of this group of ethically motivated individuals made our decision of adding FIU’s debate tournament into our schedule a no-brainer. We are really excited to be here.” said Mercer University’s Communication Studies faculty member and debate coach Vasile Stanescu.
On day one of the debate tournament, Mercer University’s debate team was awarded first place with FIU’s Luis Toro (top photo left), Business Management major, and Economics major Abdel Reyes, coming in a close second. FIU’s Alex Schwarz, International Relations major, and Justin Merwitzer, Political Science major took home the third place prize for the day. On day two, FIU debaters Roman Viveros (top photo second to left), Engineering major, and English major Juan Salamanca were awarded second place.
The FIU Debate Team was able to accumulate enough NPTE points from this competition in order to be considered one of the top 100 debate teams out of 500 debate teams from across the nation.
The FIU Debate Team, housed in the Communication Arts Department, is a student group with a presence on both the MMC and BBC campuses. The team focuses on the importance of fostering public debate and public deliberation. Over the last twelve years, the FIU Debate Team has represented the university in collegiate competitions in a variety of public debate styles, which include parliamentary, British Parliamentary, and IPDA. It has developed exponentially with more and more students joining each year.