Mississippi College

Debaters at Mississippi College Take Home Awards

November 20, 2013

Discussing topics like the nation’s controversial Affordable Care Act, subjects dealing with sports and American politics, Mississippi College debaters returned home with awards at a Texas tournament.

One hundred students from ten colleges in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas competed in verbal sparring matches in mid-November at East Texas Baptist University. Other topics focused on the merits of gold investments, the IRS scandal and whether coffee is better than tea.

Making his tournament debut, MC senior Daniel Wagner earned a second place speaker award. A 20-year-old business/pre-law major, William Bettis of Madison County turned in another impressive performance with six wins and one loss. He received an octo-finalist award.

Bettis “has consistently done real well,” said Mississippi College debate coach Merle Ziegler, a communication professor on the Clinton campus.

The Mississippian loves debating topics whether they touch on current events, social movements or abstract philosophical ideas. “Debate is a phenomenal avenue to express, evaluate and analyze ideas,” Bettis said. “It tests your knowledge, tries your logic and has a way of tackling one’s preconceived notions.”

The strong showing by the six-member Mississippi College debate team at the Tiger Invitational Tournament comes on the heels of an outstanding performance at Middle Tennessee State University in early November.

There were 90 competitors entered from schools including Middle Tennessee State, the University of Tennessee, Union University, Lenoir-Ryne University, the University of Arkansas Monticello and Mississippi College.

The MC debate team won a third place sweepstakes trophy. During that weekend, Bettis earned an octo-finalist award. Among others: Mississippi College students Andrew Rock, 18, a freshman from McCalla, Alabama, received a quarterfinalist award. A 21-year-old softball player from Olla, Louisiana, Morgan Aycock picked up fifth place speaker honors on the Murfreesboro, Tennessee campus.

Mississippi College will host 80 debaters on the Clinton campus for a tournament December 6-7. Teams expected include Union University of Jackson, Tennessee, LSU, East Texas Baptist, Sam Houston State and the University of Arkansas Monticello.

For more information, contact Merle Ziegler at 601.925.3456 or mziegler@mc.edu.

Photo: Mississippi College debate team members and coach Merle Ziegler, a communication professor on the Clinton campus.

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