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Cal Poly Debate Team is One of the Top-ranked Teams in the Nation

For the fourth consecutive year, the Cal Poly Debate Team is one of the top-ranked teams in the nation. History students Salar Malik from San Ramon, Calif. and Ryan Hund from San Diego, Calif. finished as octofinalists at the US Universities Debate Championship (USUDC) April 15-17 at the University of Denver.

Cal Poly Debate Team
Top Cal Poly debate team competitors
Ryan Hund (left) and Salar Malik (center)
with coach John Patrick (right) at the
2017 Debating Championship in Denver


John Patrick, communication studies lecturer and the assistant debate team director said, “The whole team put in a ton of work to prepare for this elite tournament, and the students who sparred with Malik and Hund did a great job of contributing to this success.”

Out of 220 teams at USUDC, only 32 advance beyond the preliminary rounds. Cal Poly finished the prelims as the 15th seed, outperforming many teams from private and Ivy League schools. Going into the championship round, Cal Poly was in the top three of only five public schools that are in a five-year ranking.

“I cannot stress enough how rare it is for public institutions to perform at the level our students have for the past four years,” Patrick said. “This success cements the Cal Poly Debate Team's status as an elite debating institution in the British Parliamentary format, upholding a tradition of debating excellence that has lasted for more than a century.”

Back in January, the Cal Poly Debate Team placed as finalists at the Steeltown Invitational hosted by Los Medanos College, before competing at the 10th Annual Pan-Pacific Championships Feb. 24-26 in Hawai’i where they placed as semi-finalists. From there, Cal Poly moved on to compete at USUDC.

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