Mercer Debate Sends Two Teams to Octofinals in Golden Gate Invitational

MACON – Mercer University’s debate team competed this past weekend in the virtual Golden Gate Invitational hosted by the University of California, Berkeley.

The Bears had two teams – senior journalism and media studies double-major Yasmeen Hill and senior global health studies and Spanish double-major Cameron Dawkins, as well as junior religion and women’s and gender studies double-major Cameron Wade and freshman biochemistry and molecular biology and Spanish double-major Madeline Smith – reach the octofinals round. Additionally, Dawkins was named third-place speaker.

Overall, Mercer finished in third place among the 17 institutions represented by 72 competitors in the tournament.

“These victories were against other top-tier universities, such as UCLA, Rice, UC Berkeley, Whitman and Penn State,” said Dr. Vasile Stanescu, associate professor of communication studies and director of debate. “All of these students worked incredibly hard; I am proud of each of them.”

Alumna Jaz Buckley, a National Parliamentary Debate Association national champion and top speaker, helped to coach the team. Buckley is currently pursuing her law degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mercer’s next debate tournament is scheduled for Jan. 16 to be hosted by Whitman College.