The UTSA Debate Team is an official university team activity housed in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the Communication Department. The debate program is directed and coached by Skip Eno. UTSA has fielded an active forensics team since 1980. UTSA students have competed as members of the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) since 1982. Currently our debaters participate in both CEDA and NDT competitions.
The UTSA Debate program is committed to providing equal opportunities for all people interested in debate, regardless of experience, age, race, gender, sexual preference, ethnic traits or class characteristics. We welcome all, and we believe the critical thinking, research, and communication skills inherent in the debate experience are liberating and supportive of an open society.
Activities focused on competition seem to operate cyclically—they have periods of rapid growth resulting in increasingly successful outcomes. They peak over several years of top level championship wins. Then they slide back a bit, sometimes into deep troughs, sometimes a slow decline and then a plateau. These periods of stasis are referred to as “rebuilding years.” UTSA Debate has been in a rebuilding stage for two-to-three years. The good news is that the team shows signs of emerging from the cocoon—our debaters’ winning ways are returning.
Last weekend UTSA Debaters turned a corner at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Two UTSA teams turned in solid preliminary round performances and advanced to the championship elimination rounds. Roadrunner novice debaters, Rohit Saxena and Bob Grace were undefeated in the six preliminary rounds. They lost in the final round, placing 2nd in the tournament. Grace placed 4th among novice speakers and Saxena placed second. Both debaters received awards. The Varsity team composed of Alexis Morales and Emil Calhoun won four of their six preliminary rounds, beat a Baylor University team in octafinals, and finally lost to the University of Kansas in the quarterfinals round.
The weekend before, at a novice and jv tournament hosted by the University of Houston, the novice team composed of Bob Grace and Rohit Saxena placed first. Another duo of novices, Alfredo Hickman and Diana Elizondo, placed third. Novice debater Alfredo Hickman won was awarded the third speaker position, and Rohit Saxena placed first. In the JV Division the UTSA team composed of Meryem Bousfiha and Alex Birnel placed second and Bousfiha won the fifth place speaker award.
At a tournament hosted by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas over the weekend of October 19th, a UTSA team made their first advance to the elimination rounds. Alexis Morales and Emil Calhoun had a winning prelim record and lost their first elimination round.
Since starting the debate season at UMKC in the middle of September, our debaters have turned in increasingly more wins at each tournament. The national rankings are not out yet, but UTSA should be situated in the top third of a 400+ field of collegiate teams. As the season continues, if the team has truly reached the end of its rebuilding period, our rankings should steadily improve.
The Roadrunners’ next outing takes them to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, a top-level elite tournament for which the teams must qualify based on win-loss records and quality of competition. Two Varsity-level UTSA teams will compete: Tia Robertson (Sr) and Tyler Colwell (Sr) as well as Emil Calhoun (Sr) and Alexis Morales (So).
The 2012 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass...
UTSA Debate runs a workshop in August before school starts, Aug....