University debate team tackles issues of increasing tuition fees

The University of Nevada, Reno Debate Team and the Nevada Debate Union hold a public debate, Tuesday, Oct. 25

10/24/2011 | By: Rachel Sa-Onoy  |

The University of Nevada, Reno Debate Team and the Nevada Debate Union will hold a public debate on Oct.25. The debate will be held at 7 the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center Wells Fargo Auditorium and is open to the public.  This is an opportunity to see the debate team in action, learn about the issues and become civically involved.

This semester's event focuses on the issue of rising cost of college tuition. The team tackles the difficult matters involved with decision-making around University budgets, the negative effects of tuition increases, and the opportunity of keeping tuition fees low.

The discussion of tuition increases is not only relevant to the nation's current economic state, but to the Nevada System of Higher Education specifically. Nevada's state budget is in a difficult position, with lost revenue and the need to cut costs.

Some leaders in Carson City have expressed a belief that students at Nevada universities are not paying enough for their education. Meanwhile, student debt is rising and families are having trouble sending their children to school.

"The students selected this topic due to its relevancy and importance," Phil Sharp, director of forensics at the University and the team's coach, said. I think this is a conversation in which everyone within the University system should participate. Our future is at stake."

Interest in the debate team has expanded this year. A strong, young team will be showcased on Tuesday. The team defending the merits of tuition increases is comprised of University freshmen Quinn Jonas and Daniel Coffey and sophomore Jonathan McGuire. The team opposing increases in tuition is comprised of freshmen Cory Nims and Conor Ploeger and junior Somerset Basset.

"It has been absolutely wonderful to see the rapid growth of the team this last semester," McGuire, president of the Nevada Debate Team, said. "I feel very lucky to be in a position of leadership for this wonderful team, and would encourage anyone interested in debating to come and see our skills portrayed."

"It's always a pleasure to see the team enjoying debate in a non-competitive atmosphere, and in a way that the public can enjoy and take part in," Sharp said. "The debaters always take their role seriously and shine in their moment."

This past weekend, the team of Jonathan McGuire and Somerset Bassett won a tournament at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Calif. The team lost just one ballot on the way to defeating the field of 29 teams.

For more information, go to the Facebook Page of the Nevada Debate Team or contact Phil Sharp at


For more news on the University of Nevada, Reno, follow @unevadareno on Twitter.

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