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March 2, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Two members of the Northwest debate team and their coach are departing American soil this week for a two-week overseas trip that will pit them against some of the UK's premiere university debate teams.
Seniors Jory Baker, a speech communication and English major, and Michael Tweedy, a speech communication and political science major, will be representing Northwest in the Montgomery Cup tour. Baker also is captain of the Northwest debate team; both are from Independence, Mo.
They will participate as members of a seven-person combined team that also will include students from the debate teams at the University of Central Missouri and Missouri Southern State University.
Northwest Director of Forensics David Nelson, an instructor in the communication, theatre and languages department, will accompany the team.
"This is a great experience for Northwest students, and it's great exposure for the University," Nelson said. "It's a unique opportunity that we've been afforded to participate in … It's not every day you get to say 'I debated in the chamber where Winston Churchill once spoke.' "
The team will depart Wednesday, March 3 and return Thursday, March 18. The team's first debate will be Friday, March 5 against Glasgow Union. During the tour, the Americans will debate Edinburgh Union, St. Andrews Union, Durham Union, York Union, London College of Law & Philosophy and Oxford Union.
"They will be competing against well-rounded, smart kids," Nelson said, adding that some of the opposing debaters are graduate and doctoral students. "It's a different style of debate, which is unique to what we participate in. It's going to be a good cultural exchange."
Added Baker, who noted he is traveling outside the United States for the first time, "I'm just excited to learn how debate works overseas. I really want to coach debate in either high school or college, or both. So I'm excited to see the stylistic differences and learn from them."
The team's itinerary also includes sight-seeing visits to Glasgow, Stirling Castle, the William Wallace Monument, Edinburgh Castle, London and Oxford. Nelson said the team members purchased tickets to attend a soccer game as well.
Although this is the first time Northwest students have participated, the Montgomery Cup Exhibition Debate Tour was launched in 1993 by the English Speaking Debate Unions of England, Scotland and Wales. The tour is a competitive, academic, international exchange between outstanding student debate representatives from the United States and Great Britain that is meant to help students gain greater experiences in international perspectives and politics.
Members of the English Speaking Unions of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland compete annually for the honor of representing their respective universities in the Montgomery Cup Tour. In past years, the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, Dundee, Glasgow, St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Cardiff, Dublin, Cork and London University of Law have hosted stops on the Tour.
The Northwest participants will discuss their experiences at the Montgomery Cup during a presentation scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 14 in Room 117 of Wells Hall.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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