Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences Undergraduate News

SMU has two semifinalists at Lee College Debate Tournament

SMU debaters advanced to the semifinals of novice and junior varsity levels of the International Public DebateAssociation tournament at Lee College this weekend (September 23-25). Hailey Hazen advanced to the semifinals ofjunior varsity and Yazan Naseef advanced to the semifinals of novice. Eric Ryan and Hailey Hazen advanced to thequarterfinals of team debate on Friday.

John Shriver advanced to the quarterfinals of novice before being passed over by another mustang debater (Naseef).Shriver was the fourth seed overall after winning six of seven preliminary rounds. Evangeline Bulick advanced to theoctafinals of novice as the number three debater—losing only one of her seven preliminary rounds. Sarah Mende also advanced to the octafinals after winning five of her preliminary rounds. Daniel Abraham won a novice speaker award along with Evangeline Bulick. This weekend SMU Debate celebrated 100 years of women participating in SMU Debate.

Varsity debater Eric Ryan advanced to the quarter final elimination rounds after winning four of his seven preliminary rounds. SMU Debate president Kaleb Simes had a 3-4 record in prelims for varsity. SMU alumni Maggie Cook Allen and Taylor Enslin competed in the professional division and finished as the 5th and 7th seeds in the division. SMU competed in all five divisions of the tournament: team, novice, junior varsity, varsity, and pro. SMU won major awards in four of the divisions.

Ten SMU debaters completed 78 rounds of debate in 36 hours. They won 56% of their preliminary round debates.Three SMU debaters were attending their first college debate tournament ever and all three new debaters advanced to elimination rounds including one semifinal round for Naseef. For each round, students have a new topic with only 30 minutes to use the internet to prepare arguments. Students must do an equal mix of affirmative and negative debates throughout the day.

The team was coached by Keith Milstead and Ryan Booth. Booth is the defending 2022 World Champion of IPDAdebate. Milstead is the president of IPDA debate and has won multiple national championships in the IPDA league as an undergraduate student. SMU will compete again in Louisiana during the weekend of October 14. SMU will also host a public debate regarding Abbott vs. O’Rourke in Meadows O’Donnell auditorium on October 12 at 7pm.

SMU Speech and Debate is sponsored by Dedman College and collaborates with Honors program in Clements Hall.SMU Speech and Debate has a pedagogical mission of equipping individuals to have their voice. The program is directed by Dr. Ben Voth, professor of rhetoric.

For more information, contact Dr. Voth at