August 11, 2020

UMW Debate Team Starts the New Year with Big Win

UMW First-Year Ainsley Rucker (right) teamed up with U.S. Naval Academy student Matthew Pickard to win the novice championship against George Mason University at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, Jan. 3-5.

UMW First-Year Ainsley Rucker (right) teamed up with U.S. Naval Academy student Matthew Pickard to win the novice championship against George Mason University at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, Jan. 3-5.

The University of Mary Washington Debate Team started off the new year with a bang, winning the novice championship at the first tournament of the semester. Senior John Huebler, and first-year students Amanda Ciocca and Ainsley Rucker returned early from winter break to compete at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, January 3-5. The tournament fielded competitors from across the nation, including Harvard, University of California-Berkeley, and Dartmouth, as well as UMW’s frequent competitors from the region, including George Mason, Georgetown and the U.S. Naval Academy

Ciocca and Huebler competed in varsity, with wins against opponents from Georgetown and New York University. Rucker competed with a partner from another school – Matthew Pickard, from the Naval Academy in a combined junior varsity and novice division. They faced opponents from George Mason, Rochester, and New York University. In the novice final round, they were assigned to negate George Mason’s proposal to cooperate with China on space-based solar power. They defeated George Mason by a 2-1 decision of the judges.

“Ainsley and her colleague from Navy debated very well all weekend in a very tough division that included junior varsity teams. It was great to start the semester off with a strong win. The spring semester tournament schedule is intense and starting off the semester with a tournament win gives our squad momentum,” said Adrienne Brovero, director of debate at UMW.

The team is now gearing up for tournaments at the Naval Academy and Liberty in January, and hosting and competing in the District VII National Debate Tournament Qualifier in February. The team is also preparing to host multiple debates on campus during the semester, which will be open to the public. Information about those events will be available via the team’s social media in later January.

To follow the team, follow @UMWDebate on Twitter & Instagram, and University of Mary Washington Debate on Facebook.

Brovero Honored with Debate Award

Debate Coach Adrienne Brovero

Adrienne Brovero, UMW’s Director of Debate, was recently recognized by the Barkley Forum for Debate Deliberation and Dialogue as this year’s recipient of the Melissa Maxcy Wade Award Honoring Debate as a Public Good at the Atlanta Season Opener Debate Tournament. The award is presented at the Season Opener each year to a person in the debate community who is committed to using debate as a public good or encouraging and empowering others to use debate as a public good. In March, Brovero was similarly recognized by the National Debate Tournament, when she received the Lucy M. Keele Award for Service, based on her service to the community. Brovero is also continuing in that spirit, having been elected as Chair of the National Debate Tournament Committee in March.

UMW Debate Team to Face Off on Presidential War Powers

The University of Mary Washington Debate Team has been invited to join five other highly ranked universities in a public debate on the issue of presidential war powers on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at George Washington University. The UMW Debate Team ranks among the nation’s top public universities. Mariah Young and Tom Pacheco will represent UMW at the prestigious debate, sponsored by the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) and University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Young is a junior double major in political science and journalism. Pacheco is a senior double major in political science and philosophy. Tom Pacheco and Mariah Young will represent UMW in a presidential war powers debate. The topic, Pacheco said, is “timely and interesting.” Tuesday’s debate is the first in a series of debates, and also will welcome U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who will give opening remarks. Former Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, director and CEO of the Miller Center, will moderate the debate. Pacheco and Young are debate veterans who are accustomed to facing off against credible competitors. The different format of this debate, however, poses a challenge for them. The debate will consist of two teams, each made up of three universities. UMW, GWU and University of Pittsburgh will face the U.S. Naval Academy, James Madison University, and Georgetown University. The focus of the debate is not to win, but to inform in an open format setting, according to Pacheco. He and Young will collaborate with the schools on their team while trying to enlighten the public. “We have a lot of research already prepared; it’s just a matter of adapting,” Pacheco said. “I think we’re prepared, but I think it’s natural to feel a little nervous speaking in front of a lot of politicians,” Young said. The debaters will affirm the ideas in the War Powers Consultation Act, created by the Miller Center’s War Powers Commission, with a goal of creating a clear policy that mandates conversation between the President and Congress to talk about when the U.S. can go to war. The debate is open to the public and should last about two hours. “It’s important that we have that much time to get our information across,” Young said. While the duo has only been back to campus for two weeks, their research on the topic has been ongoing. Tuesday’s debate topic connects to the overarching National Debate Tournament and CEDA 2013-2014 topic for UMW Debate Team and all U.S. debate teams. Each school has a vote in the selection process. Debate Coach Adrienne Brovero said the UMW team is “very honored” to participate in the debate. The UMW Debate Team has a history of debating major topics such as energy policy and U.S. policy following the Arab Spring, but this topic surpasses their past endeavors. “The opportunity to contribute to the larger ongoing debate about the president’s authority is especially unique for our students,” Brovero said. CEDA is an organization that helps govern the collegiate academic debate community. The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy and political history.