Colorado State University’s debate team has won first place in the 1997-98 National Sweepstakes Championship after a season of individual tournament victories.
The National Sweepstakes Prize is awarded by the National Parliamentary Debate Association to the college debate team that has demonstrated the strongest overall performance in tournaments throughout the year. More than 100 colleges compete in tournaments each year.
In winning the prize this year, Colorado State broke the association’s point record. Points are awarded based on style, presentation and strength of argumentation. Debate topics range from political policy to philosophical issues. The winner of the National Sweepstakes Prize is determined by tallying points from each teams’ four strongest tournaments.
Colorado State’s debate team is made up of 15 students with two graduate student coaches and a faculty advisor. Head coach Robert Margesson and head debate coach Marcus Paroske traveled with the squad to more than a dozen tournaments throughout the season.
"The team has performed exceptionally," said Barb Willard, director of forensics and assistant professor in the department of speech communication. "The students’ dedication and the talent of the new coaching staff have moved the team forward from fourth in the nation last year to first this year."
Colorado State was named the National Sweepstakes winner during last month’s post-season National Championship Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. Colorado State took second place in that tournament.