The 2023 President’s Cup Debate, featuring the Erskine Debate Team, is set for Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7:00 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
The President’s Cup was first conducted Sept. 19 last year as part of the lead-up to the inauguration of Dr. Steve Adamson as Erskine’s president, and is now being continued as an annual event.
The current Debate Team roster includes junior Katherine Andersen, freshman Carson Bleich, junior Annie Bruner, sophomore Ellie Jordan, junior Noah Lin, freshman Jackson Parris, sophomore Harvee Patel, freshman Laurel Reynolds, freshman Caleb Roberts, and freshman Mattea Ruiter.
This year, the statement up for debate is “The advent of social media has improved human communication,” with Carson Bleich and Caleb Roberts arguing in the affirmative and Laurel Reynolds and Annie Bruner taking the negative position.
Debate Coach Morgan Roberts accompanied team members to Tennessee for two tournaments last month. “We had back-to-back weekends of competition,” she says. Erskine participated in the Cougar Classic at Cleveland State Community College Oct. 20-21 and in the Pejaver Debates at Middle Tennessee State University Oct. 27-29.
Roberts reports that at the first tournament, “Laurel Reynolds and Carlson Bleich placed in Octafinals (top 16) and Noah Lin placed in Quarterfinals (top 8) in the Novice bracket,” and at the second tournament, “Noah Lin and Carson Bleich placed as the Top Novice TIPDA Debate team.”
The young coach, who serves as resident director for both honors residence halls at Erskine and is also an Erskine Seminary student, believes the tournament experience has been good for the team. “I am excited to see where this team will go in the future!” she says. “They have so far shown they can compete at the top end of the notice bracket and hold their own in debates with varsity debaters.”
Members of the Erskine College Debate Team develop skills in clear communication, team building, creative thinking, logic, ethics, research, and community. Team members seek to glorify God through their interactions, during competition, and at all other times by setting examples of character and integrity. The team participates in Individual and Team International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate, a “real world” form of rhetorical battle in which the goal is to have logical, evidence-centered debates on current topics.