NIU hosts debate tournament

By Christine Boike

“Continued U.S. Involvement in Central America would be Undesirable” is the topic for a 40-team intercollegiate tournament to be held here this weekend.

Competitors from each school will be debating this topic at the same time in various rooms in DuSable Hall starting Friday at 4 p.m. Debates will continue on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until the finals are finished, tournament director Todd Kuzma, who also is one of the team’s coaches, said. He said the public is invited.

NIU hosts a tournament annually but the team is not permitted to receive any awards in their own tournament, Kuzma said.

They are only permitted to “compete in it (the tournament) to get practice,” he said, because it might appear to be unethical if NIU won their own tourney.

NIU’s team, which has mini-teams of two people each, competes in two or three tournaments a month.

There are two divisions in the tournament: Novice, which includes members with less debating experience; and the Varsity division, which can involve any member with more experience.

The competitors must know both sides of the topic being debated and must be able to argue both sides of the issue for three rounds each, Kuzma said.

Each round is an hour to an hour and a half long and the first three rounds will be debated on Friday. The second three rounds will be debated on Saturday along with the quarter finals, the semi-finals and the finals.