MSU Debate Team Qualifies to the National Debate Tournament

February 22, 2021

Michigan State University Debate qualified two teams to the National Debate Tournament (NDT) last weekend at the district qualifying tournament held online.

Piper Meloche, a social relations and policy junior in the Honors College, and Duvall Adair, a political theory and constitutional democracy senior in the Honors College, were undefeated against teams from Northwestern University, Indiana University, Purdue University, and Wayne State University to qualify for their first NDT. Piper, Duvall, Nate and David

Nathan Glancy, an economics junior, and David Koster, a political science freshman in the Honors College, also went undefeated to clinch a spot at the national championship.

“Qualifying to the national championship is a huge accomplishment,” said Carly Watson, Director of Debate. “This has been an exceptionally challenging year for all of our students and coaches so we are immensely proud to have qualified two teams to the NDT.”

This is the 25th consecutive year that the MSU Debate Team has qualified a team to the NDT – one of the longest streaks nationally for a public university.

“MSU Debate has such a legacy of success,” Watson said, referring to the Debate Team’s three national championships and streak of qualifying. “Piper, Duvall, David, and Nate have worked incredibly hard and now they’ll always be a part of that history.”

MSU Debate had five other students competing at the district tournament. Lena Grossman, a philosophy senior, Ezra Serrins, a comparative cultures and politics senior in the Honors College, Wajeeha Kamal, a political theory and constitutional democracy freshman in the Honors College, Maddie Van Zant, a psychology sophomore, and Mitchell Scott, a computer science freshman.

Grossman and Serrins also had a perfect record at the tournament after winning all four of their debates. Because of NDT rules, only two teams from a school can qualify for the national championship through the district tournament.

 “They reserve a certain number of slots at the NDT for third teams from a school,” Watson explains. “Ezra and Lena have a great season-long resume so we’re hopeful that MSU will ultimately be one of the few schools at the NDT to be represented by three teams.”

Watson is the newly minted Director of Debate after previously serving as the MSU Debate Team Project and Events Coordinator. This was the first tournament the team has attended since her appointment earlier this month.

Will Repko, MSU Debate Head Coach, said, “It can be challenging to have a strong competitive debut when one first begins in a new position. I am not sure this how this debut could have gone much better. Carly’s leadership was invaluable to our success this weekend.” 

The MSU Debate Team is part of the Honors College.