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USU Debate Team Completes Season

Thursday, Feb. 06, 2014

Utah State University’s debate team has returned from its final Northwest Forensic Conference tournament of the season where it competed against 28 other colleges and universities at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. The team is led by director Tom Worthen.

The team competed in IPDA debate, a one-on-one debate with topics changing every round. Those debating receive the topic 30-minutes prior to the debate and must research and create a case during that time. Topics ranged from domestic issues, such as whether college students should be required to live on campus, to international issues, such as who is to blame for the conflict in the Ukraine.

With only five students at the tournament, USU had four who received recognition. Rachel Hebert, a senior from Colorado, was recognized as the second best debater at the tournament. Garret Smith, a freshman from Wyoming, was recognized as the third best debater at the tournament.  Ben Powell, a freshman from Utah, captured 5th place in debate and Paislie Hill, a senior Washington, received recognition as the 10th best debater.

“For a young, inexperienced team, it was a good showing,” Worthen said. “We are looking forward to next year when we can bring this core of experience and once again be a conference title contender.”

USU did not place in the overall conference championship this year, but previous teams have placed first in the conference seven of the last nine years, Worthen said.

The Northwest Forensic Conference includes all two- and four-year colleges and universities in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, with a special addition of Utah State and Snow College from Utah.

Although this was the last tournament for USU this season, the team will meet this spring to prepare for competition in fall 2014. USU students interested in joining the team or who would like more information should contact Worthen at 435-994-0023 or via email at

Related links:

USU Department of Languages, Philosophy and Communication Studies

USU College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Source: USU Debate Team

Contact: Tom Worthen,

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