West Long Branch, NJ – The Monmouth University Debate Team, the Debate Hawks, received seven trophies at the Western National Novice Debate Championship at Sacramento State University in Sacramento, California, held March 9 to 11, 2012.
Brandon Karkovice and Arielle Giordano made it to the semi-final playoff, which means they made it to the Final Four before losing a split decision (2-1) against a debate team from Cal Poly. Brandon and Arielle went 4-2 in the tournament before winning two playoff rounds. It was a controversial decision, had it gone the other way Brandon and Arielle would have made it to the final round where they would have debated for the Western Conference tournament championship.
Debate Hawks Team Photo, Stagecoach in Old Sacramento City, CA (a city made famous by the gold rush of 1849)
Olivia Mills and Miriam Peguero went 4-2 during the six round tournament and won their first playoff round against a team from Cal State, before losing a close decision to Fresno State, thus winning a trophy for making it to the quarter finals (final eight). Lexi Todd and Dan Roman also made it to the playoff rounds after going 4-2 at the tournament. They lost in their first playoff round (2-1) to a team from Cal State Fullerton. Kelly Craig and Sam Maynard were one of two 3-3 teams to make it to the playoff round, which means they made it in over other 3-3 teams because of their high speaker points. Kelly and Sam started out the tournament 0-3, before roaring back and winning their final three rounds, a testament to their perseverance and grit.
Monmouth University had four teams make it to the playoff rounds, more than any other school at the tournament. Lianne Kulik and Jennifer Sime and Tyler Breder and Brad Landau also did a great job and scored impressive victories during the tournament. The Debate Hawks also won three individual speaking awards, again, more than any school competing in the tournament. Olivia Mills received the 5th place individual speaking award, Miriam Peguero received the 6th place speaker award, and Alexandria Todd received the 9th place speaker award. Speaker awards are only given to the top ten individual speakers at the tournament.
The tournament included eighty-two debaters from twelve universities including Fresno State, Cal Poly, San Diego State University, Cal State Fullerton, and Pepperdine to name a few. Each year, a topic is picked to be debated at every tournament. The topic for this year is Resolved: The United States Federal Government Should Substantially Increase its democracy assistance for one or more of the following: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen. The Debate Hawks organized and wrote a case on how best to improve democratic assistance in Yemen and debate it when on the affirmative. There are six preliminary rounds, each lasting approximately two hours, and each team argues on the affirmative in three rounds and on the negative for three rounds. Teams that compile a winning record in the preliminary rounds go on to the playoff rounds on Sunday.
Prior to the California trip, the Debate Hawks won five trophies at Cornell University (NY), and received a number of team and individual awards at the West Point Military Academy tournament and tournaments at Rutgers University and Monmouth. The Debate Hawks would like to especially thank Dawn Cleffie, Roger Massimino, Laurie Stanton and all the good people in Accounts Payable for all of their help and support in preparing for debate tournaments throughout the year.