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MSU Debate finishes in top 16 of National Debate Tournament

By Stephanie Cepak

Bloomington, Indiana — The Michigan State University Debate Team finished in the top 16 at the National Debate Tournament, which ended Monday.

MSU was one of six schools in the country to qualify three teams to the national competition. This was the first time since 2008 that MSU qualified three teams.

MSU lost to Northwestern University on a 5-2 decision in the octafinals. It was the final debate for the two-person team of international relations, Chinese, comparative cultures and politics senior Kaavya Ramesh and international relations sophomore Tyler Thur. Ramesh and Thur are also members of the Honors College.

International relations juniors Jack Caporal and Quinn Zemel finished in the top 32. A total of 80 teams competed in the tournament.

International relations junior Aniela Butler and math sophomore Margaret Strong also competed, but did not qualify for the elimination rounds. Butler and Strong were one of nine, two-woman teams competing at nationals.

“After a hard-fought season, MSU debate put it all on the line and competed with the best,” said Debate Head Coach Will Repko. “This was an emotional end to the season because Kaavya is a senior and this is her last year of debate. We’re proud of our team and the hard work and dedication to debate they demonstrated all year.”

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

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