Blue Raider Debaters start season strong at Georgi...

Blue Raider Debaters start season strong at Georgia competition

Middle Tennessee State University’s Blue Raider Debaters got off to a promising start to its competitive season this past weekend at the University of Northern Georgia.

The team took 11 competitors to compete in National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) and International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate formats, according to professor Patrick Richey, team coach and director of forensics.

Dr. Patrick Richey

Dr. Patrick Richey

Debate graphic

In NPDA tournament formats, two-person teams debate head-to-head in multiple rounds, with a new topic presented each round. In IPDA formats, debaters primarily go one-on-one, with various time limits in effect for both formats.

Of the roughly 20 colleges in attendance at the University of Northern Georgia, MTSU won second place sweepstakes in IPDA, fourth in NPDA and third for the whole tournament combined, Richey said.

Individual debaters from MTSU won 18 awards for advancing and speaking well.

The team’s success capped off a week that began with a recent partnership with The American Democracy Project at MTSU on Constitution Day. The team held a debate on campus where team members argued the merits and flaws of the DREAM Act undocumented immigrant program.

The team will next travel to Walter State Community College in Morristown, Tenn., for a debate during the first weekend of October.

Individual winners at the University of Northern Georgia were as follows:

— NPDA (Parliamentary Debate)

• 4th Place Varsity Speaker: Hailey Lawson

• 17th Place Varsity Speaker: Colonial Gieger

— IPDA (International Public Debate Association)

• Varsity Quarterfinalist: Hailey Lawson

• Novice Octofinalist: Marquwan Fultz

• Novice Octofinalist: Alvin Loyd

• Novice Octofinalist: Micheala Edwards

• Novice Octofinalist: Steven Saksa

• Novice Octofinalist: Chris Wysocki

• 3rd Place Speaker Varsity: Hailey Lawson

• 9th Place Speaker Varsity: Stephen Duke

• 14th Place Novice Speaker: Chris Wysocki

• 10th Place Novice Speaker: Steven Saksa

• 9th Place Novice Speaker: Marquwan Fultz

• 5th Place Novice Speaker: Alvin Loyd

• 7th Place Debut Speaker: Marquwan Fultz

• 8th Place Debut Speaker: Steven Saksa

• 12th Place Debut Speaker: Chris Wysocki

• 15th Place Debut Speaker: Kellye Guinan

MTSU’s debate team, founded with the university in 1911, was revamped in 2011. It immediately began recruiting members and hosting special debate events on campus. In October 2012, the team hosted its first tournament on campus in nearly a decade, welcoming teams from around the country.

You can learn more about the team at

— Jimmy Hart (