Mar. 3-5, Washburn Debate travelled to William Jewell College to compete in the National Round Robin of Parliamentary Debate, taking 1-2 overall and ranking Kaitlyn Bull and Ryan Kelly as national champions as well as Quintin Brown as the top speaker.
Washburn has competed in the tournament since its first year against 13 other schools. This year, Washburn made it in the last six teams standing. Concordia finished in sixth place, California Berkeley in fifth, Mercer in fourth, Texas Tyler in third – leaving the top two spots at the National Round Robin for Washburn.
Kaitlyn Bull ranked fifth best speaker, Ryan Kelly fourth best and Quintin Brown was crowned the top speaker at the National Round Robin.
Ryan Kelly, senior double major in international business and marketing, commented on his experiences in debates and what opportunities they have opened for him.
“I began debating competitively when I was a ninth grader at Seaman High School here in Topeka,” Kelly said. “It has opened a myriad of professional and personal opportunities for me. Being involved with debate has caused me to become a confident public speaker, as well as researcher, and has afforded me the opportunity to have a scholarship coming into my time at Washburn University.”
Kelly said his overall favorite experience with debate at Washburn has been the sense of community and family that comes with participation in debate.
“Not only do I have a family in the debate team here at Washburn, but also a large amount of alumni around the nation who feel like family as well,” Kelly said. “Washburn Debate is truly a legacy of high achieving individuals who all, in my experience, are willing to help out current members of the team in both their professional and personal lives. Further than this, the community of universities that are engaged in debate across the nation facilitate friendships far and wide, and have opened up a large
Kelly said that during the last round of debate Kaitlyn Bull and him were arguing on the topic that The People’s Republic of China should repeal its Network Security Law. They were on the negative side of the topic, arguing that the People’s Republic of China should keep its Network Security Law in place.
Kelly expressed his excitement for upcoming debates.
“Over spring break, we will be traveling to Colorado Springs for our last two national ments,” Kelly said. “I am looking forward to this trip specifically because it will be the last time I debate. Obviously this is bittersweet, given that leaving an activity you have loved for eight years will be difficult, but I am excited for the final push and hope that my team will find success.”