Debate Team competes at Ethics Bowl


The Saint Francis Debate Team traveled to Poughkeepsie, New York, on Dec. 1 and competed in the Northeast Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.

The team was competing to advance to the national competition.

Students Ryan Alu, Hunter Becker, Elliot Biddle, Cory Kumpf, Randee McGee and Anthony Perozich, accompanied by coach Grant Julin, debated against Yale, James Madison and Salisbury universities at the event.

After winning in the first round against Salisbury, the team lost its matches against James Madison and Yale.

“We have a good team,” said Julin, an associate professor of philosophy and religious studies. “Some of these schools have been doing this for over 10 years.

“We definitely have potential to do better next year.”

The team was given the cases it would debate in early September. Team members met once a week over the past three months to prepare.

“These were hard cases,” said Julin. “Racial, religious, tricky subject matter that a lot of people don’t even want to talk about.”

The difficulty, according to Julin and team member Cory Kumpf, is making the best argument, whether you believe it is right or wrong.

“The skill of learning how to debate is really valuable in the current political environment,” said Julin.

For the spring semester, the debate team will meet to discuss frameworks and strategies and conduct outreach in the local community. The team has visited local high schools to help mock trial clubs.

They will also host a Battle of the Schools – a debate between each of the academic schools at SFU.

The team will compete in the 2019 Northeast Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl again next fall.

“I’m excited for next year because we’re not losing any members,” said Kumpf.

“We can only grow, and more people means more and different perspectives.”