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Debate team takes first national win in Texas

Arguing for a ban on patenting DNA sequencing in order to prevent corporate ownership of human genetics, BU’s Debate Team triumphed over Emporia State at the University of Texas at Dallas debate tournament, winning a national competition for the first time since its founding in 1960.

After obtaining a 5-1 record in pre-elimination rounds, students Ravi Gupta ‘05 and Ron Klein ‘04, coached by Joseph Schatz, an English and Women’s Studies PhD candidate, initially argued against the United States’ complaint to the World Trade Organization opposing the European Union’s restrictions of genetically modified organisms in preliminary arguments. However, the team changed strategy against Emporia and argued that humans have reached a new phase in evolution where they have already become homo technicus and have gone beyond their physical limits through the advancement of science and technology that has allowed them to reconfigure their identities in both the physical and cybernetic world.

Binghamton won the finals on a 2-1 decision, taking its only loss throughout the tournament from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, while being individually ranked as the third and tenth best speakers at the tournament. While they defeated regional rival University of Rochester in the semi-finals, they triumphed over the University of Central Oklahoma, Southwest Missouri University and Southeast Louisiana twice.

Recent victories have come after a long line of successive events, which in the 2002-03 season culminated in BU being recognized as the top program with the best coach in the Northeast Region that includes both Cornell and Harvard by the Society Advocating More and Better Debate.

As the spring semester kicks off, the team plans to travel to Cornell, George Mason University, Towson University, Marist College, and the Cross-Examination Debate Association Nationals held at Louisville University, in hopes of taking a few more victories before the season ends.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08