Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO to host NEDA debate tournament

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Graphic by Kerrigan Foster

SEMO will be hosting the in-person National Education Debate Association (NEDA) Debate Tournament. The tournament will include fifteen other schools.

The debate, hosted on March 3 and 4 in Rose Theatre, will consist of cross fire and rapid fire rounds.

Junior Debate Team president Olivia Fensterman said she is excited for the cross fire debates that she and her debate partner Jaina will be competing in. Cross fire debates consist of teams of two who work to argue a topic given to them prior to the debate.

There will also be rapid fire debates.

“Rapid fire is an individual debate that has a different topic each round. Over the course of the debate, rapid fire debaters will argue at least 7 different topics,” said Fensterman.

Director of the debate team and communication studies professor James West said the topic for the cross fire debate at this tournament will be “should U.S. public school systems be reformed.”

Senior vice-captain of the debate team Jaina Bemis has been on the debate team since her freshman year in 2020.

“I am very excited that this will be the first in-person debate that we have had in many years,” Bemis said.

Bemis said she is also excited to represent the school and for people to see what they are all about.

“SEMO is the school that founded the NEDA division of debate to make it accessible to other schools. This means that without having an in-person debate previously, it has been hard to show people who we are. This is great for the school and division as a whole,” Bemis said.

If interested in attending the debate tournament, it will be taking place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Friday, March 3 and 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 4.