Debate Team Members Make FIU History


FIU Debate made history as debate students Juan Salamanca and Roman Viveros secured the first ever FIU bid to compete in the prestigious National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE). Salamanca, an English major, and Viveros, an Engineering major, are both freshmen at FIU and have declared minors in Communications Arts. Under the leadership of instructor and debate coach T.J. Lakin, these two students will compete against the best forensics teams in the country at the invitation-only event. The competition will take place at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri on March 19-22, 2015.

“We are extremely proud of Roman and Juan, as we are of the entire debate team under Professor Lakin’s leadership. Roman and Juan’s participation in the national invitation-only tournament is well deserved, and is a remarkable achievement,” said Brian Schriner, Dean of the College of Architecture + The Arts and previous FIU debate coach.

The two participants faced a tough competition circuit throughout the fall semester to qualify for the NPTE bid. At the Bearcat Classic tournament held at McKendree University in December, the pair swept through the tournament and advanced both days by dominating debates on topics ranging from drones to crop insurance. Salamanca and Viveros then traveled to California and advanced to the quarterfinals after successfully debating on the issue of body cameras. Their hard work and outstanding performances in the fall led to FIU Debate securing a spot in the national tournament.

The NPTE is an invitation-only national championship tournament for parliamentary debate. NPTE attracts the top teams in the country that compete in the parli-debate format supported by the National Parliamentary Debate Association. Only the top 64 teams in the nation are invited to attend the NPTE each year.

Congratulations to the FIU Debate Team for this great achievement! To learn more about FIU Debate and other upcoming events, click here.



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