La Verne debaters
win Oxford Finals
Posted December 2, 2005

Jaclyn Gonzales
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne debate team traveled to Oxford, England, to compete in the Oxford Finals on Nov. 12.

Cambridge University won the tournament, but two La Verne team B members, Lauren Moon and Amanda Elsasser, came out on top by placing 70th. They finished one point ahead of La Verne’s team A.

“Cambridge, (which is) Dr. Marcus’s alumni college in England, Cambridge and Oxford host tournaments one week apart,” debater Rob Ruiz said.
“When Oxford hosts, Cambridge enters their teams and when Cambridge hosts the following week, that’s when Oxford competes. It’s a huge rivalry.”

“It is like La Verne and Claremont when it comes to debate,” he added.
Moon and Elsasser continue to prove the strength of their team, by becoming the first team of females to accomplish winning the Canadian University Society at the Intercollegiate Debate. This is the second consecutive year they’ve received this achievement.

“This is monumental because we are the first team from La Verne to travel to the Oxford Union and accomplish something like this,” Elsasser said. “The rankings are also given for top speaker from the tournament and Josh Martin and myself tied for the top speaker points earned from La Verne.”

Elsasser was the top speaker from La Verne last year in Oxford as well as placing the highest at the CUSID Tournament in Vancouver, Canada, and now in Oxford.

The tournament consisted of five rounds with speeches of five minutes in length.

“We debated motions such as ‘this house would scrap the international ban on whaling’ and ‘this house would put a salary cap on European Football,’” Ruiz said.

These members were chosen by their debate coach and ?selected on performance.

Only two teams were awarded the opportunity to travel to England: Elsasser, Moon, Ruiz and Martin.

They were chosen over the 60 debate members to compete with the world’s finest debaters including those from universities all over Europe and the Americas.

“After competing in the international tournaments several times, like myself, faces become more familiar and friends are made all over the world,” Elsasser said.

The Oxford Union is known as the historical venue that hosted famous debates with speakers such as Yasser Arafat, Winston Churchill and Mother Theresa among other world leaders.

While in London the team took the opportunity to sight see the historical landmarks, such as taking a tour in the Parliament building.

“The history behind the Oxford Union is so inspiring and competing with individuals from all over the world is unforgettable,” Elsasser said.

On Dec. 26, five ULV teams and four adjudicators will travel to Dublin, Ireland to compete in their next competition in the 2006 World Universities Championships.

Jaclyn Gonzales can be reached at

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