Debate Team to Compete in Austin

The UMKC Debate Team is 30-2 and faces a shot at Nationals. According to Head Debate Coach Matt Vega, the team has made it happen through hard work and perseverance.

So far this year UMKC Debate has performed multiple times in the state of Texas and at Wichita State University. Almost everywhere they have done well against demanding competition. Travel itself can be exhaustive, taking up five to seven weekends of each semester.

In college-level debate, four debaters (two per school) compete over one year-long topic. This year’s topic concerns whether or not the United States should maintain its military presence in other countries. Students have to research the topic and then debate the pros and cons vs. another two contestants from another team. The format features “cross-examination” and is not a carbon copy of what the Mock Trial team at UMKC does. Any student at UMKC is eligible, with no prior experience necessary.

The national tournament is located in Binghamton, New York, and so far, UMKC looks to be headed there. Before nationals, the team must compete in a tournament in Austin, Tex.. Vega is confident in his team’s overall capacity, especially in the performances of his team’s elders, like Junior Corey Fisher and Senior Evan Jones.

Fisher, Jones and Junior Anthony Joseph said that the most thrilling part of debate was winning. The team practices during the week and weekend to prepare.

Planning for the competition is an essential part of UMKC Debate’s performance. The team anticipates the other team’s arguments.

The team has had strong performances from some of its first-year students like Antonia Scott.

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