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SMU Mustangs are Finalists at University of Iowa Debate Tournament

SMU debate completed best performance in its history at University of Iowa December 3-5

The SMU debate team completed the best performance in its history this weekend at the University of Iowa. Eight SMU students made up the squad of four teams debating whether or not the U.S. government should increase its democracy assistance to any of the “Arab spring” countries – Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. The University of Iowa is one of the founding centers of college debate and communication study in the United States, and was among the first in the nation to have both female and African American debaters. More than a dozen universities attended the tournament from around the country.

SMU’s Brittany Dickey, a junior, was third speaker overall in the novice division and Anthony McAuliffe, also a junior, was fourth speaker. The team of McAuliffe and senior Bianca Marzullo finished with a perfect 6-0 record in the novice division and was the top team at the end of the preliminary rounds.

McAuliffe and Marzullo defeated Concordia University on a 3-0 decision before losing in the final round of the tournament. The second place finish of the team was stronger than the excellent performance from 2010 when SMU lost in the semifinal round of the tournament. Tyler Murray, Roza Essaw, Caroline Booth, Emily Langille and Jenna Skinta all contributed research and arguments to the effort as student members of the debate squad attending the tournament for SMU. SMU had one of the largest squads at the tournament.

The SMU debate program is part of the Communications Studies division at SMU Meadows, and is directed by Communication Studies faculty members Chris Salinas and Ben Voth. Tim Glass serves as assistant debate coach.

SMU will debate again in January at the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Dallas.

For further information, please contact director Ben Voth at or 214-768-3028.

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