In order to generate more opportunities for debate competition closer to home, and to promote the growth on debate programs in Florida, UM Debate led the organization of the first Sunshine State Showdown Intercollegiate Debate Tournament, held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando on October 12.

The tournament was hosted by UCF, and run by David Steinberg, UM’s director of debate, and Patrick Waldinger, assistant director of debate. The University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida and the University of Miami participated.

Twelve UM students participated in the competition, nine of them debating for the first time in an intercollegiate policy tournament.

UM students won a number of awards. Communication Major Renee Reneau was the top speaker. Xingkai Liu and Anna Ivanova won all four of their debates and were the second place team, losing on tie-breakers to a team from UF. Ivanova was the third place speaker in the tournament, and Xingkai was sixth.  Adrianne Babun-Chavarria and Vikas Manjunath won three debates and were the fourth place team. Michael Fuentes won recognition as the seventh place speaker.

This week the UM team will travel to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. After this week, 21 UM students will have represented The U in Debate competition, 13 in their first intercollegiate policy tournaments. 

Participation in debate is open to all UM undergraduates. Interested students should contact David Steinberg at