Policy Debate Success at the Texas Two-Step Tournaments
Most college students use their winter holiday break as a chance to relax, reconnect with friends, or, most of all, to avoid work. However, for 12 of the student members of the University of Houston’s Policy Debate Program, the holidays were quite the opposite, as they spent more than a week traveling and competing at the 2013 Texas Two-Step, a pair of debate tournaments hosted by the University of Texas-Dallas and the University of North Texas.
Prior to their departure, the Houston policy debaters spent several days preparing to debate in their new offices in the M.D. Anderson Library, readying arguments to use against nearly 100 different teams from across the country.
The UH Policy Debate Program, still in its first year after returning to campus under the umbrella of the Honors College, achieved a significant amount of success over the eight days that the debaters and coaches spent in Dallas. Senior John Abraham and junior Jacob Koshak qualified to the quarterfinal round of the UTD tournament, where Koshak was named the tournament’s sixth-place speaker. In addition, first year student Sahar Sadoughi was awarded the 8th place speaker in the tournament’s novice division.
UH’s Novice Policy debaters enjoyed a strong showing at the second half of the Two-Step, as first year students Tyler Morris and Crystal Sowemimo reached the semifinal round of the tournament and Jennifer Reiss and Sahar Sadoughi advanced to the quarterfinals, with Sadoughi recognized as the 5th place speaker in her division.
The Houston debaters are already hard at work for two more tournaments in the coming month, at Wichita State University, in Kansas, and Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois. February sees the beginning of the championship qualification process, as the Cougars set their sights on the University’s first qualification for the National Debate Tournament in nearly 30 years in addition to competing for the American Debate Association’s national championship.