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LSUS Debate Closes Season as National Championship Runners Up

April 21, 2021

Shreveport, LA-The LSUS Debate team finished its 2020-2021 season as runners up in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) National Championship Tournament, improving from its fourth place ranking last year. The team placed fourth in the season-long overall team rankings which included 150 programs and over 1,000 competitors over the course of the season.

The National Championship Tournament included 62 teams from 24 states with more than 300 competitors. In the individual categories, the LSUS debaters brought home noteworthy victories.

Seniors Ethan Arbuckle and Dominick Mercer were selected as National Champion IPDA Team honorees in the Varsity Division after debating against 94 competitors. Arbuckle placed ninth overall in Speaking and finished second in the season-long championship. This ranked him second in the nation overall for 2020-2021 and tied for first in the season-long Speaking category. Mercer finished as an Octo-Finalist in the Speaking category for the competition.

Graduate Assistant Leia Smith and MBA student J.J Thompson both finished as semi-finalists in the Professional Division. Additionally, graduate student Matthew Gedeon was as an Octo-Finalist.

"Thank you to the IPDA Executive Committee for hosting such a wonderful tournament," Interim Director of Debate AJ Edwards said. "Thank you to all of the amazing support that the team has gotten over the course of the year-from amazing community volunteers to the Administration at LSUS, the Facility Services that kept the building sanitized during a pandemic, the LSUS police who kept us safe during crazy weather, and the entire LSUS community. A special thank you to the College of Arts and Sciences for their continued efforts to make LSUS Debate better than ever. Also, to the Pandemic Action Team for finding a way for the students to be able to use the LSUS campus all year. All together the community allowed these students to compete all year and succeed in and out of debate rounds."

About LSUS
Founded in 1967, Louisiana State University Shreveport offers a wide array of nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a doctoral degree. The university's mission is to educate a diverse population of graduate and undergraduate students; engage in regional and global thought leadership through community collaboration and service; and innovate to enhance the application of knowledge and intellectual discovery through faculty and student research and creative endeavors.

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