Students from the University of North Georgia (UNG) Debate Team participated in the University World Debate Championship in Cordoba, Spain this July. More than 500 competitors from 90 countries from Latin America, the United States and Europe participated as either debate judges or team members for the eight-day tournament.
The group of nine UNG students competes nationally in Spanish and English language debates — some even competed in the Pan-American Universities Debating Championships in Jamaica in March. The recent debate was exceptionally competitive; the UNG team did not reach the semi-finals, though they did rank highest among the U.S. teams.
"These students were prepared to compete, both psychologically and in debate," said Dr. Kenneth Martin, professor of communications and the debate team advisor. "To watch them prepare for each round and see impassioned orators come out as they put forth arguments was truly an impressive sight. As the largest and most notable group from the U.S., they proudly served as the standard bearers for our nation."
The team covered a variety of debate topics during the competition, but the theme of humanitarian issues was prevalent. Subjects included the anti-rape device Rape-aXe and whether it should be provided by the state; political concerns such as left-wing politics in Latin America; Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 presidential election; and determining if politically progressive ideals derived from religious faith should be spread independently by the church.
The members of the UNG Spanish-Speaking Debate team are Mallika Dinesh, Elton García-Castillo, Daisy González-Torres, Julio Hernández, Anayely Moreno, María Palacios, Rebecca Pool, Cristian Ramos, and UNG alumnus Alejandro Ramírez.