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This item originally appeared in the April 1, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

The debate team was the overall winner Saturday and Sunday at the Louisiana State University at Shreveport Ethics Conference and Competition.

"We had a good weekend," Trey Gibson, debate team coach and an instructor of speech, said.

The team held the top seeds in the three divisions: open, novice and varsity. For the overall tournament, Tech came home with 50 wins and 28 losses, including the elimination rounds. This brings the total number of wins to 257 for the season with two tournaments to go.

Lynsie Fielder, a senior speech major, was a semifinalist in the varsity division and fourth-place speaker in that division. AnneMarie LeBlanc, a freshman speech major, placed first as a speaker and competitor in the novice division. Michael Melcher, a senior physics major, was a quarterfinalist in the varsity division. Brooke Swanson, a senior accounting major, was a quarterfinalist in the open division. Bill Willis, a sophomore speech major, was a semifinalist in the novice division and third place speaker in novice division.

This competition was an ethics-themed tournament. Gibson said though "the butterflies are always there," they were fairly prepared for the tournament.

University faculty helped prepare the team for the ethics tournament. Dr. Reginald Owens, an associate professor of journalism, and Dr. Linda Martin, an assistant professor of communications, explained journalism and media ethics to the team. Dr. Bruce Magee, an assistant professor of foreign languages and English, discussed "ethics in general," Gibson said, covering a more philosophical aspect of the topic.

Melcher was grateful for the help and support because he does not usually study ethics.

"I'm a physics major," Melcher said. "We never talk about journalism; we never talk about theology."

Gibson said he and the team will be writing "big thank yous" to the faculty members who helped in preparing the team for competition.

"We really do appreciate them," Gibson said.

Gibson also competed in the tournament in the open division.

"It helps me help the team," he said. "I get to shake off the rust."

Gibson said he was undefeated in the preliminaries, but he lost in the quarterfinals of the open division.

"I was stumped by a guy that went to my high school, years and years and years ago," Gibson said. Gibson was also the second place speaker in the open division.

The team brought home 11 trophies to add to the current 99.

"I'm very, very proud of them," Gibson said. "We may break our little trophy record." In Gibson's time here, the record number of trophies was 118, two years ago.

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