Viking Views Winter/Spring


Trajan McCormick

The Missouri Valley College Debate Team launched its inaugural season of competition in 2018, participating in a number of tournaments. The team is currently comprised of six students, each joining at different points throughout the season. The team did a wonderful job winning rounds, especially as they competed against larger schools that have had debate programs for nearly a century, including Penn State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Western Kentucky. The first time an MVC student placed was at the Webster University debate tournament when Trajan McCormick finished fourth in his division. The team then found success at the Johnson County Community College debate tournament when Ethan Hofer-Cassianni took first overall and Gracyn Bristow took second overall. The division of debate that MVC competes in sets their qualification for their national tournament as any debater who takes first or second at a tournament, as long as there are at least four schools present. Therefore, both Ethan and Gracyn became the first qualifiers to the national tournament from MVC! The team continued their success at the inaugural Missouri State Grand Prix debate tournament when Monika Tshibanda secured the first place award for her division and was named second best speaker and Ethan Hofer-Cassianni was named fifth best speaker. Monika’s win qualified her for the national tournament, putting the total number of qualified MVC debate students at three. It is a tremendous feat for a first year program to place in so many rounds and to send multiple students to the national tournament, proving a promising future for the team. The success of the team is in large part due to the expertise of Head Debate Coach Chris Roberds. Roberds started participating in debate in 1993 and was a two time national qualifier, finishing in the top 30 debate teams in the country his senior year. He attended college at Missouri State University on a debate scholarship and

16 Viking Views | Winter/Spring 2019

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