CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Debate Team Wins Big at National Tournament

Date: 04-11-2013

Kacey Gardner, editorial assistant
Public Affairs
Sue Peterson, director
Speech and Debate Team

California State University, Chico’s Debate Team competed among more than 150 teams in the Cross Examination Debate Association’s (CEDA) National Tournament March 20-24 in Pocatello, Idaho. The team brought home several awards to cap off one of the most successful years in Chico State forensics history.

The annual CEDA tournament is often referred to as the “people’s tournament,” because it’s an open-entry contest. CSU, Chico received second place in the Western Region for sweepstakes points this year and also won the Founders Award, given to the school with the most cumulative CEDA points over the history of the organization. CSU, Chico has participated in the tournament for more than three decades. Winners of this award return to zero points after receiving the award.

In addition, graduating seniors Emily Parker and Scott Laczko both received All-American Debater awards, only 30 of which are given out nationwide. Students Ryan Clare and Jordan Hampton took third place in the novice division, losing to University of Florida, whose team is coached by CSU, Chico alumnus Kris Willis. Zachary Justus, faculty member in the Department of Communication Studies, won this year’s Outstanding Alumni award for his work the Chico Great Debate and the Freshmen Leadership Opportunity (FLO).

"This success is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the team members this year,” said Speech and Debate Coach Sue Peterson. “Emily Parker and Scott Laczko were two of the hardest working debaters I have ever had as a debate coach. That dedication and commitment went beyond their own success to help support the first-year novice debaters to achieve some amazing results. I am also especially excited about the Founder's Award as an alum and former Chico debater. It feels like everyone who has ever debated or coached debate at Chico brought home this award this year."

Along with Peterson, teaching assistants Natalie Kellner, Shannan Troxel, Chaz Kelley and Taureanna Shimp and volunteers Ryan Guy and Theresa Perry coach the team.

The CSU, Chico Speech and Debate Team is an Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) funded program and a course offered through the Communications Studies program. The team is, first and foremost, an educational activity and is also committed to advancing the benefits of speech and debate on a local, state and national level. To join the team for the upcoming year, contact Sue Peterson at 530-898-4771.