George Mason Debate Team Gets Ready to Argue

Posted: January 16, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Stephanie Hay

Warren Decker, professor of communication, continued his almost 25-year reign as host of the George Mason University Debate Tournament for high school students last weekend and will host the college-level tournament beginning today. The college tournament continues through this weekend, Jan. 16-18, in Robinson Hall B.

More than 250 high school students participated from the 35 registered schools in the mid-Atlantic area. The event required more than 100 judges to determine 600 rounds of debate.

Decker believes the students find the event fun and challenging. “Debate is basically an intellectual contact sport,” Decker said. “Most students really get into arguing directly against another team or person. That’s why they keep coming back every year.”

The George Mason University Debate Team has consistently earned rankings among the top debate schools in the nation. Currently ranked fourth in the country, the team has qualified for the National Debate Tournament in 22 of 25 years. They have won or placed at almost every major tournament in the country over the years.

Don Boileau, chair of the Communication Department, says the events are a wonderful outreach program. “The college tournament will have a wide draw and some top teams in the country are coming in,” he says.

Approximately 150 students have registered for the college tournament, coming from states as far north as Vermont and as far south as Georgia. Action begins at 12:30 p.m. today, and all events are free and open to the public.

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