SMU Debate #1 Program Nationally in New IPDA Rankings
Team takes multiple first place awards at Houston Mendoza Tournament
The SMU debate team traveled to Lee College in Houston recently for the Mendoza Debate Tournament, where they captured first-place ranking in four of the five debate divisions. Their multiple wins elevated their standing in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) to #1 in the nation. Debate topics ranged from the 2018 midterm elections to the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination to international law.
Over the course of more than 70 debate matches, SMU’s wins included first place in the professional, team varsity, junior varsity and novice divisions, and second place team overall in sweepstakes points behind Louisiana State University. SMU defeated opponents from Drury University, University of North Texas, Texas A&M International University, Stephen F. Austin, University of Arkansas, Abilene Christian University, Lee College, East Texas Baptist University and several other regional colleges and universities.
The SMU squad is coached by James Farmer debate fellows Keith Milstead (selected in April 2018 as IPDA coach of the year) and Matthew Lucci (’18 SMU alumnus and national junior varsity debate champion in spring of 2018). The program is directed and coached by Dr. Ben Voth, associate professor in the Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Division at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. Assistant coach Ross Sloan, English lecturer at SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, also works with the debaters and helped sponsor three campus debates this fall, including the SMU watch party on September 21 for the Congressman Beto O’Rourke/Senator Ted Cruz debate, which was held on the SMU campus.