Debate Team no longer USO, under new leadership

Summar Saad

Issue date: 7/17/07 Section: News
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After the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Student Activities Office made the decision to cut funding for the Debate Team last year because of a lack of participation and leadership, UM-D students Ian Tran  and  Kurt Edelbrock have taken the initiative to take over and start  planning ahead for a year of tournaments and fundraising.

"We are doing our very best to reassert our presence and goals on campus  through open disclosure, strong communication and proactive  leadership," said Tran, the former USO's director of organization and logistics.  Although their financial future is still unknown, the debate team has already met two times this summer to discuss fundraising options for upcoming tournament expenses.

"They (SAO) have been indirect with us. We can still continue as an organization, but the funding will  not be the same," said Director of Competitive Debate, Edelbrock.

"We are hoping to increase student membership to 25 and hopefully we will be able to get some funding."

There are currently eight members and the organization is hoping to add more during the Freshman Orientations.

Along with increasing student membership, the Debate Team is also planning on increasing their activity by attending three tournaments this year at Wayne State, Northwestern University and  John Carroll in Ohio.

They are hoping to cover their travel expenses by raising money from bake sales and other events. 

Besides travelling out of town to tournaments, the team also plans to become more involved in campus events.

"On July 6,  we held a meeting and thoroughly discussed many ways for us to hold  events that would successfully benefit multiple organizations," Tran said.

"There are currently over 14 events which we are planning and in the process  of sequencing into the upcoming semesters."

Despite the disappointment of last years events and their lack of funds, the Debate Team is looking forward to an eventful and successful future.

They will be meeting July 18 at 7 p.m. in the Mardigian Library and would like to invite anyone interested to come along and bring their friends.
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