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LSUA Hosts Oak Tree Swing Debate Tournament this Weekend

Released: 10/20/2009

LSU Alexandria will host its annual Oak Tree Swing Invitational debate tournament this weekend, announced Dr. Kevin Ells, director of forensics and assistant professor of communication studies. All of the events Friday, Saturday and Sunday are open to the public without charge.

A full set of standard events will be held Friday in a National Individual Events Tournament sanctioned by the American Forensics Assn., and six rounds of professional, varsity and novice International Public Debate Assn. (IPDA) debate will occur Saturday. A special four-round IPDA team competition, co-hosted Louisiana College and LSUA, also will take place Friday.

IPDA is a 12-year-old debate league active in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Florida and Oklahoma. Ells said IPDA “promotes a format that emphasizes oratorical and real-world persuasion skills over speed reading of written evidence.”

Competition begins at 12:30 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Elimination rounds will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday, followed by an awards ceremony at 10:30 and the finals. Coughlin Hall will serve as tournament headquarters.

Some 15 schools from four states are expected to participate. Ells said members of the public interested in serving as judges should contact him at 473-6489 or debate@lsua.edu.

The LSUA Debate Team “turned in a solid performance” in its first competition of the year, the Weevil Wars Tournament hosted by the University of Arkansas-Monticello. David Tubbs, a senior from Alexandria who won the national IPDA Novice Division championship last season, finished 7th speaker in a field of 44 in his first varsity competition. Team captain David Doyle, a senior from St. Landry, was a quarterfinalist in the Professional Division. Ells said Doyle is one of “a very few IPDA debaters who has won awards and advanced to elimination rounds in all four divisions.”

Caina Munson, a sophomore from Marksville, ranked 3rd speaker in a field of 64 from 13 schools in the Novice Division in only her third tournament. Lei Prenell, a senior from Alexandria, advanced to the elimination round in the Novice Division.