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The Blue & Gray Press | October 20, 2017

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Debate Team breaks UMW record

BY JULIA DAVIS
University of Mary Washington Debate Team members, seniors Colin McElhinny and Thomas Pacheco, broke a UMW record in January at the Hubert L. James Round Robin.

McElhinny and Pacheco set the record by coming in third behind the University of Michigan and Northwestern University.

According to Adrienne Brovero, director of debate, McElhinny and Pacheco’s finish is the first time UMW Debate placed in the top three at a Round Robin tournament, a smaller, invitation-only competition where all teams present debate against each other.

UMW was one of seven schools who received invitations to the prestigious Round Robin tournament held at Dartmouth College. Other invitees included debate teams from Harvard, the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Georgetown University Rutgers and Wake Forest.

Each team had the same subject to debate, issued each year by the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA). According to CEDA, the subject debated at the Round Robin was: “The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing; indefinite detention; offensive cyber operations; or introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.”
The team worked hard to be placed in the top three.

“We worked very, very hard,” said McElhinny, a political science and economics double major. “It’s nice to have it pay off.”

UMW participated in six debates and recorded four wins.

“It was a tremendous accomplishment,” said Pacheco, a political science and philosophy double major. ‘I’m proud of what we did.”

Fresh off a win, the UMW Debate Team is already preparing for their next tournament at the University of Texas-Austin.

“We hope the momentum we had at Dartmouth will help carry us through the season,” said McElhinny.

McElhinny and Pacheco both have high hopes for the remainder of the debate season, which will end with the National Debate Tournament at Indiana University in March. The UMW Debate Team ranks among the nation’s top public universities.