Truman Debaters Win Several Championships at Purdue Boilermaker Special

Students from Truman State University’s speech and debate team (The Forensic Union) started off the 2005-2006 season with a bang, capturing tournament championships in debate and two individual events at the Purdue University “Boilermaker Special,” Sept. 16-18 in West Lafayette, Ind.

Stefani Wittenauer, a junior communication and political science double major from Belleville, Ill., and Sara Archer, a sophomore pre-business administration and pre-accounting double major from Riverside, Mo., took the tournament championship in parliamentary debate, defeating the top team from Western Kentucky University on a 3-0 decision. Elizabeth Hobbs, a senior biology major from Newton, Kan., took the tournament championship in persuasive speaking while teammate Meghana Kunkala, a senior biology major from Chino, Calif., was champion in rhetorical criticism.

Hobbs was also second in rhetorical criticism and fifth in extemporaneous speaking. Three additional teams reached elimination rounds in parliamentary debate. Reaching the octafinal round (“sweet sixteen”) of the tournament was the team of Todd Turner, a sophomore communication major from Chesterfield, Mo., and Christopher Girouard, a freshman from Chesterfield, Mo. Advancing to quarterfinals were the teams of Justin Perkins, a senior economics major from Jefferson City, Mo., and Nick Zotos, a freshman justice systems major from Chesterfield, Mo., and Keith Schnakenberg, a junior political science and communication double major from Buffalo, Mo., and Christopher Dove, a freshman biology major from Chesterfield, Mo. Both the Girouard/Turner and Perkins/Zotos pairs were eliminated by meeting Archer and Wittenauer in the elimination bracket. Schnakenberg was the sixth-ranked speaker in the division, while Archer placed eighth and Perkins ninth.

In tournament sweepstakes, awards that measure programmatic breadth and depth across all teams and events, Truman placed third in individual events, second in debate, and second in the combined debate and individual events category.

The Forensic Union is a co-curricular program of the Division of Language and Literature, drawing its competitors from throughout the University’s majors. It is supported by a combination of University funds, alumni donations and campus fund raising. The Forensic Union is open to all interested students. Inquiries about the program should be directed to the director of forensics at 785.5677 or
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