The WDI locked out the finals at the Texas Open tournament hosted by the University of Texas at Austin in February. Board member Nicole Nave and 2015 Collegiate Scholar, Corinne Sugino, faced each other in the finals of the Texas Open. In a 2-1 for the negative, Sugino’s Wake Forest team took home the championship.

Charles-Anthony Athanasopoulos and Corinne Sugino

Charles-Anthony Athanasopoulos and Corinne Sugino

Both Sugino and Nave’s teams went 6-2 in prelims. Sugino’s team was the 19th seed overall at the tournament; Nave’s team was eighth seed.

In her sixth round, Nicole Nave received thirty speaker points- a perfect score. Overall, Nave earned 12th place speaker.

In the finals round, Rutgers NM (Nave’s team) read their Beloved aff, which “involves a performance of hauntology based on Beloved by Toni Morrison that focuses on black women in history, and in the US military, that are erased in the status quo,” according to Nave’s affirmative cites.

As the negative, Wake Forest AS (Sugino’s team) went for criticisms of their call for subjectivity and indicts on the discussion of gender within the 1AC.

Sugino believes that the reason for the split decision was clear: “Rutgers debated really well. Especially Nicole, her 2AR was bomb and had us super nervous for the decision.”

Both Nave and Sugino fully embody their arguments. “What I say in debate is important to me,” Sugino explains. “I don’t see it as a game the way many people do. Something that forever influenced the way I think about choosing which arguments to make was when Joe Leduc (my partner last year) used to say, ‘there’s only so many speeches you are going to give before you graduate. So what are you going to say in them?’”Nicole Nave

While there may be nuances in a critical argument that never get addressed, Sugino believes that “there’s value in debate that I don’t think you get in a classroom discussion; for example, you have to be ready to defend what you say in front of people who, by the nature of competition, have to disagree with you.” The platform of debate provides a uniquely beneficial point of contestation and deliberation for critical debaters, one that is essential to exploring all the angles of the theory.”

For both Nicole Nave and Corinne Sugino, success in a debate isn’t simply a win, it’s the education of their judges, their competitors and themselves.

Rhian Williams is a WDI 2015 Alumn and a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!