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April 20th, 2011
Texas State debate team finishes second at national tournament


Two senior debate team members from Texas State University finished second at the Pi Kappa Delta National Debate Tournament held March 23-26 in Portland, Ore.

Luis Baez, a political science major from Houston, and Laura Driver, a geography major from Portland, Texas, advanced to the finals of the tournament where they finished second to a team from Portland State University. Baez and Drier, the tournament’s seventh seed, made the final four after advancing through six preliminary debates in a field of teams from across the United States.

“It was difficult, challenging and frustrating at times, but it was one of the best debates Luis and I have had since we started debating together,” said Driver.

Baez said the debate was fun and added, “It was cool to be able to represent Texas State on this type of national stage.”

Topics are given to the debaters, sides in the debate are assigned, and then the students have twenty minutes to prepare the debate. The final round topic dealt with whether or not the United States should engage in political assassinations.

“Following the Libyan situation for the last few weeks gave us the insight we needed to be able to advocate for our side,” said Baez. “I think we demonstrated a depth of knowledge in this debate because of all of the reading and research we have been doing.”

Texas State’s team of Ryan Herrera, senior political science major from San Antonio, and Joseph Flores, a junior from Houston, advanced to the national semi-finals and also received a Superior rating for their performance in the preliminary rounds that garnered them the tournament’s 3rd seed.

Alec Hartmann, a sophomore political science major from Hallettsville, and William Tyrel Krohn, a senior political science major from Spring, also represented Texas State in the tournament, finishing 16th.

The Texas State LBJ Debate Society is directed by Wayne Kraemer. Assistant coach is Jeremy Hutchins.

“They (Baez and Driver) are hard-working students who are a pleasure to coach and I am glad they earned this recognition for themselves and for all of us at Texas State,” said Kraemer.

Pi Kappa Delta is the nation’s oldest collegiate forensics honorary society, dating to 1913. Texas State received its charter in 1934 with university distinguished alumni R.H. Bing, J. Edwin Smith, and York Wilbern, as well as LBJ’s debate coach H.M. Greene, among the charter members.

For more information about the debate and speech teams at Texas State contact Wayne Kraemer at


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