PLUM 16.2

We managed to get a whopping four teams to go to this tournament, so there’s no way I’m going to be able to detail what every team did in everyone round. I’ll just give a quick wrap-up.

Round 1, This House believes in art more than science.

Most teams ran some sort of plan investing in art, and most of them did very little to demonstrate any sort of significant cuts to science as a consequence. I think this is kinda sketchy where if you don’t directly prioritize on over the other, it’s hard to demonstrate preference. For the most part though, no one ran anything to off the wall, and so we got to do our regular Policy analysis stuff. Also, we weren’t even late to our first round, which was a benefit we weren’t used to. Also also, this was Maureen’s very first debate and she didn’t even come out of the round crying or emotionally damaged, which is more than a lot of first time debaters can say. We’re very proud of her.

Round 2, This House would shake up the debate.

We’re assuming this was referring to the presidential debates, but Parli debaters tend to not like literal interpretations, and so a lot of plans were just “do something controversial”, which would shake up the debate in whatever area the controversial thing was happening in. Yay more policy analysis.

Round 3, Some really long case study about a corporation donating to a hospital outside the geographic area the corporation normally donates to in order to score some political points and push through trade regulations.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, at all of the PLUM tournaments the third round is what is referred to as a “case study”. It gives you a really long scenario and then you’re forced to make some sort of moral assessment on the matter. Most of us were a little agitated coming out of this round , as is pretty normal with case studies. The wording of the case study tends to be very subjective, and so more often than not you win a case study by sounding more believable in your interpretation (even though your assumptions tend to be no more grounded in the prompt than your opponents).

Bronze Round, This House believes Hollywood is to blame for our problems.

Quick explanation on how PLUM break rounds work; teams with a winning record (2-1 or better) will advance to a Bronze round, and whoever wins the Bronze rounds will go on to debate Gold rounds. They’re slightly different than regular break rounds in that if enough people have a winning record, Bronze could look like quarterfinals, Gold semifinals, and then they just wouldn’t have an actual final. Which is what happened.

Anyways, Raffi and Bayley along with Kevin and I broke! Both debates were interpreted pretty literally. Bayley and Raffi were Gov and interpreted it as Hollywood is to blame for our problems with violence while debating against University of South Dakota, and then Kevin and I were Opp and attempted to refute the position that Hollywood is to blame for problems with misrepresentations of social issues as put forth by a team from Ripon College.

Sadly, we found out that all good things must come to an end, and Bayley and Raffi lost on a 2-1 decision while Kevin and I lost on a 3-0. Oddly, this is the second time Kevin and I have lost to a Ripon team on a 3-0 decision with a topic dealing with movies, which is just weird.

Gold Round, This House should strive for immortality.

Most of us opted to watch the Gold round between Ripon and University of South Dakota, minus Kevin who missed the start of the round while at the bathroom (oops). In all honesty, I personally had little idea what was going on the entire time. Gov defined immortality as “having no consideration for death”, which was later described as equivalent to elves in the Lord of the Rings, where you live forever unless you decide to kill yourself. They then put the value of “experience” with a “standard of scientific development”. Basically, the idea was that striving for immortality brings a bunch of cool stuff like medicinal breakthroughs and nanotechnology, which according to the Gov has the potential to “elevate everyone to a first-world existence”.

Opp responded by saying being immortal is unpleasant after a thousand years or so and it ultimately demeans the value of the life we have now (they had a value of quality of life). In general, I thought the round to be kind of messy, which happens fairly frequently on ethics-based resolutions. Both teams did a really good job of synthesizing all of their points into clear theses in their rebuttals, though, which helped immensely. Ripon won on a 2-1 decision.

Results and Reflections

Other than the Bronze round results, we also found out at awards that I got 10th speaker with 82 points, Raffi snagged 9th with 83, and Bayley absolutely dominated with 87 points, landing her 2nd speaker. Additionally, in terms of team sweepstakes, our sheer numbers along with success in break rounds means we have nearly twice as many team sweepstakes points as any other school. As long as we keep doing what we’re doing we should be hard to beat. Check out BLC’s detailed summary of the tournament and sweepstakes thus far.

Overall, the tournament was a valuable experience. This was the most teams we’ve seen at a single meet thus far, and so we gained a lot of valuable experience as well as judge critiques that’ll get us even farther at our next trip to Bethany Lutheran, the Vocal Viking.

– Alex

All the merry debaters


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