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By 9 a.m. Sat­urday, freshman Rowan Macwan had dressed himself in a black suit, purple shirt, and brown work boots. He had run to the debate lounge to get notes and evi­dence. He had done all this just 30 minutes after freshman Joel Meng shook him awake and informed him he had to compete in Hillsdale College’s debate tour­nament.

The Hillsdale debate team held its second annual Lincoln-Douglas, or one-on-one, debate tour­nament this weekend. Stu­dents from Central Michigan Uni­versity, Lafayette College, Capital Uni­versity, and John Carroll Uni­versity attended the event. Five novices from Hillsdale par­tic­i­pated to get expe­rience in an open tour­nament.

“We wanted less par­tic­i­pants, because no one wants to go to a tour­nament where they have no chance to debate anyone but the host school,” said coach Matthew Doggett, assistant pro­fessor of rhetoric and public address. “Thus, we only entered debaters to make the tour­nament run smoother and guar­anteed a certain number of people qual­ified for nationals.”

Fol­lowing his hectic morning, Macwan took second place in the com­pe­tition and received the third place speaker award. He said he was com­pletely unpre­pared for the event and had to rely on notes pro­vided by Meng.

“Orig­i­nally I was just helping with the tour­nament, but last minute, we found out someone dropped out of the tour­nament, and so I filled in,” Macwan said.

Freshmen Alexandra Negrich, Natalie Van Handel, Kathleen Hancock, and Hannah Johnson also par­tic­i­pated in the com­pe­tition. Johnson and Hancock shared a spot, going 1 – 1 and 2 – 0 respec­tively. Because of their odd sit­u­ation, it was decided that they wouldn’t go to finals.

“We needed a novice debater to par­tic­ipate so that others could qualify for nationals, but I had been sick, and my voice kept aban­doning me last week,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t sure that I would be able to debate, so Dr. Doggett drafted Kathleen to fill in.”

The tour­nament coin­cided with Parents’ Weekend, which allowed some rel­a­tives to see their stu­dents compete, Doggett said.

“We had a couple of fam­ilies come over and watch their child debate,” he said.