Debate Society successful at prestigious tournaments

April 22, 2015

University Park, Pa. --- The Penn State Speech and Debate Society recently competed at the Lafayette Debates in Washington, D.C. and the Madison Cup at in Harrisonburg, Va. Qinglan Huang, a second-year student in the accelerated premedical program, and Collin Warren, a junior majoring in economics, advanced to the sweet 16 at the Lafayette Debates and took ninth place at the Madison Cup.

The Lafayette Debate tournament took place April 18 and 19 at George Washington University. The duo from Penn State competed against teams from Vanderbilt University, the University of Texas, Clemson University, and the University of Houston in the preliminary rounds. They lost to the top seeded team from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

The Embassy of France in the United States co-hosted the event and awarded a rare eighteenth century map to the tournament winners from the University of Michigan. During the tournament reception held at the French ambassador’s residence, Huang and Warren met Emilienne Baneth-Nouailhetas, the Attaché for Higher Education, and discussed the importance of cultural exchanges between the two countries.

After leaving Washington, D.C., the Penn State debaters traveled to James Madison University to compete at the annual Madison Cup. The tournament features a unique format with six teams competing in each debate. The Penn State team barely missed the final round following a tough schedule in which they debated the tournament champion, Lee College, and two other finalists, the University of Central Oklahoma and Rutgers University.

Penn State has renewed its competition in debate tournaments over the past two years after being relatively dormant since the turn of the century.

"Throughout the 1900s, Penn State was a cornerstone in debate competition and helped create many of the debate organizations in existence today," Director of Debate Jessica Kurr said, "We want to renew the spirit of debate here in Happy Valley and become a team worthy of the name Penn State."

Participation in the Penn State Speech and Debate Society is free and open to every undergraduate. For more information about the team, please contact Jessica Kurr at, or visit their website and Facebook page.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 12, 2017