ISU Headlines

ISU to host CEDA Nationals debate tournament in March 2009

Posted June 12, 2008

Idaho State University has been selected to host the 2009 Cross Examination Debate Association Nationals, the largest collegiate championship debate tournament in the country.

“We feel extremely honored to be given this vote of confidence by CEDA,” said James DiSanza, Ph.D., chair of the ISU Communications and Rhetorical Studies Department. “It is a nice recognition of the strength of our debate program and its coach, Sarah Partlow-Lefevre.”

The 2009 CEDA Nationals are scheduled March 19-25. This event is expected to attract as many as 600 debaters from colleges and universities from throughout the United States.

“We put together a strong bid with the help of ISU administrators and the City of Pocatello,” said Partlow-Lefevre. “We’ve received significant financial support from the Pocatello Convention and Visitors Bureau, and great financial and administrative support from Idaho State University to help host this prestigious tournament.”

The Idaho State University James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society has been the top team in its region six of the last seven years and has had good success at the CEDA Nationals.

In 2006 the ISU Rupp Debate Society finished third at the CEDA Nationals behind Dartmouth and Harvard Universities. The Rupp Debate Society has consistently been rated among the nation’s top 20 debate programs the last seven years. It has earned 200 awards, 50 of them for first place, since Partlow–Lefevre began coaching the team in 2001. ISU debaters will be competing in the 2009 CEDA Nationals.

Between now and March event organizers will be figuring out the logistics of an event of this magnitude, which includes finding up to 100 classrooms to use to host debates.

Many of the debates will be hosted in ISU’s two newest venues: the Rendezvous Complex for many of the early-round debates, and, likely, the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center for final round debates.

Besides the fact ISU put in a financially sound, well-presented bid to land the tournament, DiSanza said there were other reasons Idaho State University and Pocatello may have been selected for the tournament.

“I think CEDA likes to have some geographic diversity in selecting sites to host the tournament,” DiSanza said. “They have never been to Idaho, and haven’t hosted a national tournament in the Northwest for a long time. The Pocatello area appealed to them for being in the mountains and it was a chance to hold the event in a different region of the country.”