Debate team ranks
third in nation
The Michigan Daily-Thursday, March 17, 1988-Page 5
Dems hope to avoid
By STEVEN FELDMAN
Five years ago, the University of
did not have a debate team. Now,
Michigan debaters are ranked third in
In the past years, the ten-member
squad has racked up an impressive
list of accomplishments, including
five tournament victories and six
second place finishes. In the recent
'Heart of America' national debating
tournament at the University of
Kansas, the University took second
and third places out of a field of al-
most 50 schools.
The University's original debate
team started in 1892, but the team
lost its funding in 1979 due to the
elimination of the Speech depart-
BUT WHEN the team's current
captain Jim Speta, now an LSA se-
nior, first came to the University, he
took it upon himself to rebuild the
team. Before that, Speta was a de-
bater at Downer's Grove High in
Speta got help from Steven
Mancuso, a graduate student who
coached Speta the previous summer
at a clinic for high school debaters at
Continued from Page 1
Referring to earlier reports that
the Reagan administration was still
considering sending military support
to Honduras, Ortega said, "This is
the most serious threat in recent
years. We are calling on the
Nicaraguan public to be alert, to be
in combat readiness, ready to repel,
resist, defeat whatever aggression
from the United States."
A Nicaraguan Defense Ministry
spokesperson, Maj. Rosa Pasos, told
reporters earlier, "We have never
invaded Honduras and we have never
invaded any neighboring country. So
we totally deny those declarations
made this morning by the White
But the Honduran ambassador to
the United States, Roberto Martinez,
said, "There has been an invasion by
thousands of Sandinista troops."
A formal request by Honduran
President Jose Azcona was expected
late yesterday, American officials
said, adding that preliminary
discussions were held at a lower
level earlier in the day.
The officials declined to give
details of the other elements in the
strategy aimed at encouraging a
But they said Honduras is
planning unilateral steps of its own
and wants a show of U.S. backing
for whatever actions it decides on.
"Jim came up to me and said 'I
think I know how to get the pro-
gram started again' and asked for my
help," Mancuso said.
Mancuso agreed, and became the
coach of the new program. After
spending a year writing letters to
potential debaters, securing an office
at the University Activity Center,
and fundraising, Speta, a sophomore,
and Mancuso took their team into
Success wasn't long in coming.
"THE FIRST YEAR, we did
just okay," Speta said. "The next
year, we did very well. We qualified
two teams for the national tourna-
And now, in the team's third year
of competition, a national debating
title is within striking distance.
From March 25 to March 27, the
team will be in Provo, Utah, for the
national tournament that determines
the national champion. With two
top-ten seeded teams qualified for the
tournament, Speta is optimistic
about the University's chances.
"We have a very good chance of
winning the tournament, and win-
ning the national title," Speta said.
THE UNIVERSITY debate
,7 , es
By The Associated Press
The Democratic presidential race
was as clouded as the Republican
contest was clear yesterday after Sen.
Paul Simon's Illinois victory en-
hanced chances the Democrats would
meet this summer without an obvi-
On the Republican side, the big-
gest question appeared to be merely
whether - or when - George
Bush's rivals, trounced in primary
after primary, would drop out.
Bush lunched with President
Reagan and hosted a dinner for Israeli
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
while savoring his 55 percent ma-
jority over Bob Dole's 36 percent
and Pat Robertson's 7 percent on
Tuesday's Illinois primary, the one
that Dole once said would start his
Among the Democrats, the talk
was of a brokered convention, where
the candidates will bargain with their
delegates to try to gain influence
over who the party nominee will:be.
Simon says it is inevitable. Demo-
cratic leaders also discussed steps
that some party leaders said must be
taken to prevent so publicly divisive
an event this summer.
Simon, aglow in the winner's
circle at last, said the nomination in
a deadlocked convention could easily
come to him because "I'm probably
the second choice of as many people
as anyone else."
The debate among Democrats was
whether they should search for a
formula to avoid a deadlocked con-
vention. Paul Kirk, the Democratic
national chair, has proposed a meet-
ing after the primaries at which party
leaders and the candidates would
close ranks around the front-runner.
team receives no money from UAC
or any other University organization.
The team is completely funded by an
annual clinic the University debaters
hold in the summer for high school
students. The students stay in resi-
dence halls while attending the four
week program. Last summer, stu-
dents from 34 states attended the
Fridays in The Daily
In addition to providing the
money to cover the team's expenses,
the clinic gives the University
exposure to some of the country's
top high school debaters.
"We recruit from among the best
debaters in the country, a lot of
whom attend the summer camp,"
I I 1 1 1 1
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