"Despite the beautiful weather in Malibu and the incredible time we had with our arguments at Pepperdine, the tournament was decidedly a mixed bag," said Dr. William Shanahan III, debate coach and assistant professor of communication studies, about Fort Hays State University's most recent debate team performance.
The group competed in its third competition of the season Oct. 14-19 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.
Michael Richardson, Hutchinson senior, finished 10th out of almost 120 debaters in the individual competition.
" This was an exceptional performance and turns out to be the silver lining in our otherwise competitive fog," Shanahan said.
The team performance with Richardson and Phil Bouska, Goddard sophomore, stumbled competitively compared to their past two performances this semester. The group managed a won-loss record of 2-4, beating San Francisco State and Eastern New Mexico.
" We took some challenging argumentative stances, pushing the debate envelope even further than we ever have," Shanahan said. "It's quite a statement from a team that has inhabited the revolutionary vanguard of intercollegiate tournament debate."
Shanahan said that while the rest of the country uses traditional political engagement in their arguments, FHSU uses "political, art installations that upend location and spatial assumptions about the world."
Shanahan said this new style is very effective and often catches the competition off guard.
The team left Oct. 21-25 to compete at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.