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DSU to host the 2018 British National Debate Team

October 25, 2018

Dakota State University will host the 2018 British Debate Team on Thursday, November 1 at 7 p.m. in the Tunheim Classroom Building (TCB) auditorium.

The topic of the British-style debate is: “Is the American Dream Dead?” Dr. Susan Conover, speech instructor at DSU, will serve as the moderator and timekeeper for the intercontinental debate.

Khalid Hussein, left, and Marcus MetivierDSU will be represented by two freshmen, Khalid Hussein (left), a cyber operations major, and Marcus Metivier, an English for new media major. Hussein participated in debate in all four years of high school in Yankton, S.D. Metivier participated in debate three of his four years at Lennox High School.

The National Communication Association and the Committee on International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) promotes international understanding and the practice of communication through discussion and debates between students from the United States and other nations. This year, the British team consists of Méabh McMahon Flanagan and Owen Mooney.

Flanagan has an undergraduate degree in history and English from the University College Cork and a master’s in international security studies from the University of St. Andrews. She is experienced and qualified in conflict mediation, having worked on the Glencree Reconciliation Program in Northern Ireland. She has a long history of competitive debating, including winning the Queen’s University Belfast IV in 2016 as speaker. Additionally, she has judging experience, including chairing out-rounds across Europe. Flanagan is now moving toward a teaching role within debating, acting as an oracy coach at the ESU’s International Public Speaking Competition in May 2018 and at the ESU Debate Academy in August 2018. Flanagan has taught debating to secondary school students through the ESU’s Discover Your Voice program and is highly invested in empowering young people to reach opportunities through debate.

Mooney is a recent graduate in economics, and economic and social history from the University of Glasgow. Speaking for the Glasgow University Union (GUU), Mooney has won the Scottish, British, and European universities debating championships as well as 15 other competitions across Europe. He has also been the chief adjudicator of competitions in the UK, Ireland, the UAE, and Pakistan. He is an experienced debating and public speaking coach, having coached political campaigners, school students from a variety of backgrounds, and the GUU competitive debating squad for the last two years. He has also worked on British political campaigns, including the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum. This will be his second trip to the USA, and he is looking forward to exploring more of the country and meeting more fantastic people.

The British duo has been on tour in the U.S. since the middle of September. Their tour schedule has taken them to colleges and universities across the U.S. and will end in Salt Lake City, Utah in mid-November. While at DSU, they will explore the local culture, visit with students, and tour the campus.

The debate is free and open to the public and there will be time set aside for audience members to express their opinions on the scheduled debate topic.