by Cathy Gastelum
For the second year in a row, the University of La Verne debate team is the top team in the Western Hemisphere, by placing in Worlds, an international competition.
Worlds gave ULV debaters a prestigious recognition throughout the world. There they defeated several of the most prestigious universities in the nation like Princeton, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge. Junior Ryan Knowles won the stand-up comedy competition there. Worlds took place in Scotland at the University of Glasgow Dec. 27 through Jan. 3.
“There were about 150 universities from over 30 countries around the world,” said Ian Lising, debate coach. These countries and universities sent a total of about 560 teams. ULV sent three teams which were Knowles and senior Ernie Minner as ULV A, seniors Sean Krispinsky and Stefan Chacon as ULV B, and juniors Chastity Archer and Jessica Lord as ULV C. A debater’s goal at Worlds is to make it to the Octofinals, where the best 32 competitors are chosen to compete.
Team B defeated Oxford and Cambridge. Worlds is a tough competition for the debaters. Lising compared it to “the Olympics.” The main event is the debate tournament, in which ULV made it to semi-finals and tied for fifth at Worlds.
“The ULV debaters have done something extraordinary, in the sense that ULV’s name is known all over the place and everyone knows that we have done so well. That is something we should be proud of as a school,” Lising said. “The debate teams have represented ULV well and placed its name in Worlds Championships and in websites that give the University great prestige in the sense of ranking high during debate competition.”
At the team’s most recent tournament at Point Loma University in February, the team did not place. The Point Loma tournament is based on the American style of debate, which has strict regulations that debaters have to follow. ULV debaters are not used to this American style, despite being renowned world debaters. The American style requires participants to dress in formal attire, and present their cases by the American style debate rules.
Sophomore Andrew Kim said, “we use [the] Point Loma tournament as means to have fun and get some fellowship with other debaters.”
“ULV debaters’ success in this tournament was [based] on individual events, not in debate,” said Lising.