Debate tourney to be held this weekend

Shauna Allen

WIU’s debate team, reigning champions since last year, will be defending its title in a debate competition this weekend.WIU will play host to an invitational debate tournament today and tomorrow in Morgan Hall 109.

This tournament is open to the public. The topic, “Corporate emphasis on profit is excessive,” will be debated during every round.

WIU is the only school representing Illinois in this tournament.

There are nine other schools from throughout the United States also expected to attend, including teams from South Dakota, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“Our team, consisting of 15 students, composed of mostly freshmen and sophomores, is evenly balanced in the amount of male and female team members,” Brian Cafarelli, debate director, said. “Having a wide range of majors from the students helps with diversifying the team. Also, the older team members have to teach the younger members and our debate team works really well together, despite the negative myths of teamwork.”

Most of the students currently on WIU’s debate team are brand-new to debate; all members except one have never been exposed to debate, according to Cafarelli.

Cafarelli, a graduate from Eastern New Mexico University, received a master of arts degree in communication speech. His graduate assistant, Chris Thorn, helps him with the debate team.

There are scholarships of undisclosed amounts offered to students varying by their participation and dedication to the debate team. The director said he is proud of the new people learning how to debate and added that debate improves many areas, from self-esteem to basic oral presentation skills.

“Debate also promotes critical thinking; employers pay top dollar for critical thinkers,” Cafarelli added. sf cw