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John R. Park Debate Society Earns Four International Championships in Japan

photo of members of the John R. Park Debate Society with their awardsThe John R. Park Debate Society competed in the International Forensics Association's 33rd Annual Tournament & Conference on March 13-14, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. The six students competing at the tournament appeared in 11 elimination rounds, winning four events and placing 3rd overall at the tournament, outperforming Vanderbilt University, Oregon State University, the United States Air Force Academy, the University of Alabama, and Point Loma Nazarene University, among the 29 programs in attendance. The team will conclude its spring season at the National Forensics Association National Championship Tournament held in Peoria, IL.  on April 13-17, 2023. photo of John R. Park debate members near cherry tree in blossom

“Because each debate round focused on elements of social or political policy concerning Japan, students were able to immediately transfer what they learned in our two touring days in Tokyo to engage in critical applications of history, culture, politics, and international relations," said Director Jeannie Hunt. "This is an amazing learning laboratory you can’t replicate outside of forensics, and these are experiences the students will never forget.”

Madeleine Felix and Ryan Knippel were the only undefeated National Parliamentary Debate Association (NDPA) team at the tournament and were the first and second ranked speakers. The John R. Park Debate Society was also the only team to have three 1-2 finishes for NDPA speakers, extemporaneous speaking,  and informative speaking. Director Jeannie Hunt was elected to International Forensics Association Vice President, which includes the responsibility of running the tournament while she serves her term. These results are especially noteable as many larger teams were present and there were over 400 total entries across the tournament. With only one senior on the team this year, the returning squad for the 23-24 season is looking strong. 

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Last Updated: 3/29/24