Mississippi College

Debate Team at Mississippi College Gears up for Competition on Clinton Campus

November 4, 2013

Mississippi College debaters from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee are providing a lift to the team as MC prepares to host a major tournament on the Clinton campus December 6-7.

Next up for MC’s squad are tournaments this fall at Middle Tennessee State University November 1-3, and East Texas Baptist University November 15-16.

William Bettis, a 20-year-old business/pre-law major, has been one of Mississippi College’s consistent team leaders all season. The Madison County resident earned the top speaker award for the novice division out of 33 competitors at a debate tournament at the University of North Georgia in late September.

In four tournaments, William has never placed below a 5th place speaker position.

“Some of my favorite topics to debate are abstract ideas and ideas that seem to be philosophical in nature,” Bettis said. “I also enjoy debating about business and economics.”

A team newcomer this fall, freshman Andrew Rock from McCalla, Alabama, recorded a 3-3 record at the North Georgia tournament. Considering the 18-year-old psychology major had no previous debate experience, “he did extremely well at his first tournament,” said coach Merle Ziegler, a communication professor.

“The things I really enjoy debating are politics and philosophy,” Rock said. “I’m learning to keep my arguments and ideas simple and coherent. I think one of the best things I’ve learned so far is that there are two sides to any issue.”

A recent addition to the squad on the Clinton campus, 21-year-old Morgan Aycock is a softball player from Olla, Louisiana. She believes the experience will enhance her speaking skills and strengthen friendships.

“Debate has taught me that you can state your opinion with the backing of statistics while doing so in a courteous manner,” Morgan said. “I also enjoy the friendships made with my teammates on the debate team, just like my friendships on the softball field.”

Debate skills, she said, are valuable for life.

Varsity debater and senior Stephen Wade, a business administration major from Memphis, rounds out the Mississippi College debate team this fall.

For additional information, contact MC debate team coach Merle Ziegler at 601.925.3456 or mziegler@mc.edu.

Photo: Mississippi College debate team: Stephen Wade of Memphis, Tennessee, Morgan Aycock of Olla, Louisiana, debate coach Merle Ziegler, who's an MC communication professor, William Bettis of Madison County, and Andrew Rock of McCalla, Alabama

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