The FIU Debate Team continues its winning streak with another impressive showing at the Valdosta State University Blazer Classic. The Blazer Classic features both International Public Debate Association (IPDA) and National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) competitions with more than 15 schools across Florida, Georgia, and Alabama competing for top prizes. The FIU Debate Team won in two categories: overall 3rd place Sweepstakes Award and overall 2nd place award in IPDA showings. Additionally, the members of the debate team came home with more than 10 individual awards, which represent several debate categories.
Justin Merwitzer, Political Science major, took the top prize in the IPDA Novice competition, where contestants were given a topic and had 30 minutes to construct an argument. Josh Moncure, Criminal Justice major, placed in two categories: 3rd place in the varsity IPDA competition, and the top speaker award in open competition. Topics included whale hunting, cyber terrorism, and legal rights of permanent residents. Both members advanced as the number 1 seed in their division into elimination rounds.
Alex Schwarz, International Relations major, and Justin Merwitzer emerged as the 2nd place champions in the parli debate. In addition, multiple FIU students received speaking awards including: Justin Merwitzer, 2nd place speaker prize; Alex Schwarz, 4th place speaker prize; Luis Toro, Business Management major, 9th place speaker prize; and Roman Viveros, Engineering major, 10th speaker prize. This was a record for FIU Debate Team, bringing home more than 6 top speaking awards in one competition.
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.