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Michigan State Debate finishes in top 8 at national tournament

Stephanie Cepak

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Michigan State University Debate team finished in the Elite Eight of the National Debate Tournament held at the University of Iowa April 3-6.

Tyler Thur, an Honors College junior majoring in international relations, and his teammate math junior Margaret Strong, defeated teams from Georgetown University, the University of California-Berkley, the University of Michigan, the University of West Georgia, the University of Georgia, the University of Wyoming, and the University of Minnesota during the preliminary and elimination rounds.

Thur and Strong were defeated in the quarterfinals by a team from the University of Michigan.

Seventy eight teams from 47 colleges debated the resolution “The United States should legalize all or nearly all of one or more of the following in the United States: marijuana, online gambling, physician-assisted suicide, prostitution, the sale of human organs.”

International relations senior Jack Caporal and international relations senior Quinn Zemel also competed for MSU and finished in the top 32. They defeated teams from Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Rutgers University-Newark, the University of Georgia, and Towson University in the preliminary rounds.

MSU, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University were the only Michigan schools to send a team to the competition.

“Tyler and Marge performed exceptionally well at the National Debate Tournament and I’m proud of their accomplishments today and throughout the season,” said Debate Head Coach Will Repko. “I also want to congratulate Quinn and Jack on an incredibly strong season of competition, including a first place earlier this season at a Miami University tournament. Both Quinn and Jack are seniors, and we want to thank them for dedicating their talent and their time to MSU Debate.”

The MSU Debate Team is a part of the Honors College. For more information, go to

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