Debate team claims tournament | News | Liberal Arts | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Debate team claims tournament

October 11, 2012

The SIU debate team continues in its undefeated streak this season, most recently competing at the University of California at Berkeley in September. The landscape might have been different, but the results were more of the same. The team of Mike Selck and Josh Rivera won the championship at Berkeley by defeating a team from the University of Oregon in the final debate on a unanimous 3-0 decision.

It was the second year in a row that SIU won this prestigious tournament, and the second in a row for Rivera as well. "Last year, I've got to tell you, it was a bit unexpected," said Dr. Todd Graham, the Director of Debate at SIU. "Josh and Sid Rehg won last year and it was their first tournament victory. I knew they were good at the time, but I didn't know just how good they could be until they won at Berkeley. But this year, Mike and Josh were the favorites and they debated like it, making their way through a tough field to bring home the championship."

Top individual awards were given out to Selck, named the top debater at the tournament; Rivera named the second best; Ben Campbell claiming the third best debater at the event; and Rehg was named the seventh best individual debater.

"I've said it before. This event at Berkeley carries a special meaning. To win a championship, and have the top three debaters competing at the University of California, Berkeley -- the home of Free Speech Movement of the 60s -- is special," said Graham. "I couldn't be more happy that SIU continues to lead the way in the practice of argumentation and debate, especially at locations as time-honored as Berkeley."

Selck and Rivera have won first place at each of the three tournaments they have attended this year, with an overall winning record of twenty-nine wins and one loss.

SIU's other team competing this year, Rehg and Campbell, also had a fine tournament. They advanced all the way to the semifinal debate before losing to the University of Oregon. With this strong showing, Rehg and Campbell have now qualified for the National Championship Tournament, the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.

Other universities competing at the University of California, Berkeley tournament included the University of California at Berkely, the University of Oregon, Pepperdine University, and the United States Air Force Academy.