West Long Branch, N.J. - The Monmouth University Debate Team made it into the playoff round at the West Point Military Academy tournament this weekend (October 17-19, 2014). Sana Rashid (Ocean, N.J.) and Francesca Vaccaro (Lincroft, N.J.) competed in the playoff round before losing to a team from Cornell University. Team Captains Dan Roman (Wanaque, N.J.) and Michelle Grushko (Freehold, N.J.) also went 3-3 while debating in the experienced division that includes scholarship debaters. The tournament included approximately 100 teams of two debaters from 20 universities including Cornell University, University of Washington, James Madison University, New York University, Boston College and NYU, among others. Each year, a topic is picked to be debated throughout the year. The topic for this year is “Resolved: The United States should legalize all or nearly all of one or more of the following in the United States: marihuana, online gambling, physician-assisted suicide, prostitution, the sale of human organs.” The Monmouth University team created one case centering around human organ sales and another case focusing on prostitution.
Monmouth entered seven two-person teams in the tournament, including Roman and Grushko, Rashid and Vaccaro, Payal Patel and Samah Khalifa, Danielle Doud and Monica Santos, Sarah Mustafa and Kim Kallok, Janaya Lewinski and Matt Toto, and Mike Butkocy and Nicole Benis. Monmouth alumni and former debaters Kelly Craig and Lianne Kulik helped coach the teams and served as Monmouth University judges at the tournament.
The Monmouth Debate Hawks will next compete on November 14-16 at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia.