Over the weekend of February 16th, Summit’s Emilio Fassett & Shilo Grayson triumphed at the Robert D. Clark Invitational, negating the resolution that “The US Congress should limit the presidents power to declare a national state of emergency.”
The two day invitational on the University of Oregon campus included five preliminary rounds and broke to semifinals. Even though the field only contained 29 entries in open parliamentary debate, a decrease from 35 last year, the break to semifinals included only a small proportion of the field. Last year, Panther’s Independent, a team from California, took first place—this year’s tournament had only Oregon teams registered.
Some of the competitors had concerns over topics: according to champion Fassett, many of the resolutions did not offer equal ground for both sides. “One side was usually forced to define something in a way that wasn’t true to the resolution so that the resolution was even debatable,” she said. For Fassett, this led to “more definitions debates at this tournament than at other tournaments.”
Multiple competitors explained that the judges present were more qualified than the typical parliamentary debate judge one would find at an Oregon Invitational. Champion Grayson noted that “a majority of the judges were either from the [University of Oregon] Speech and Debate or mock trial teams [and that] made the quality of judging better than at most tournaments.”
With this quality, however, came drawbacks for some competitors. As Fassett pointed out, more experienced judges meant more judges with preferences towards spreading and other policy debate tactics. “Coming from a team that doesn’t even have a specialized debate coach,” she said, “this was very disheartening.”
Robert D. Clark became one of the few Oregon tournaments to use online ballots this year, with multiple competitors noting that the tournament ran more on time than in years past and more punctually than other tournaments this year.
Summit Emilio Fassett & Shilo Grayson def. Lakeridge Eva Augst & Claire Fennell (2-1)
Lakeridge Peyton Holstein & Pj Steinberg def. Cleveland Isabella Baird & Gus Glasheen (2-1)
Summit Fassett & Grayson def. Lakeridge Holstein & Steinberg (3-0)
Full results can be found here