Laurier perseveres at international tournament

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During the Mar. 31 weekend in Hamilton, New York, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Debate Society sent four teams of two to compete at the Colgate IV Invitational Debate Tournament. The debate was held at Colgate University and hosted 48 different teams from around the world.

“The types of people [the Debate Society] went up against were just amazing, so it’s really spectacular to see people from Laurier do just as well,” said Matt Casselman, next year’s vice-president of communications for the Debating Society.

Laurier came home proud after the tournament with Kira Misiewicz and Jordan Schmidt taking 13th place overall in the tournament after defeating some very prestigious teams like the 7th world-ranked University of Vermont and teams from Sydney, Australia and Oxford, England. “They advanced through the quarter-finals, then they advanced through the semi-finals and they made it to the final round. Which is pretty spectacular considering the caliber of people who were in attendance,” Casselman explained.

The other three teams that competed at the Colgate Tournament were Bradley Wilkinson and Alisha Harkness, who placed 23rd, Matt Casselman and his partner Ann De Sequeria who came in 25th and George Lifchits and Arthur Situm who came in 35th.

In comparison to most tournaments the Colgate Debate Tournament was “a little more tame, in the sense that most people had English as their first language,” Casselman said. But they experience was still a great one, and this tournament in New York was only one of many trips the Debate Society took this year. Laurier’s Debate Society has traveled to most places in the world including different universities throughout Canada and the Untied States, the Philippines, England, Ireland and more.

“[Debate] is a really great opportunity to develop your critical thinking skills,” Casselman shared when asked what the organization had done for him. “When I first got to university I really was focusing a lot more on my studies and I lot less on current events,” he continued. Now, Casselman has developed a strong knowledge of current events and debate has helped boost his confidence.

The Debate Society meets once a week and gives students the chance to broaden their views, travel and meet other students with a passion for current events.

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