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Towson’s Debate Team Wins Big

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Schuh Mike 370x278 (2) Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — There are more than 900 college debate teams in the world good enough to compete in tournaments. Some of the best universities even have teams.

Mike Schuh explains this makes it all the more delightful for two young women from Baltimore.

Want to see what happens when the underdog wins?

Better than Georgetown, better than Harvard, better than the men. Now back at Towson University, their national championship trophy trails in their wake. These two women–one alumna from Poly and the other  from City College in Baltimore–achieved a historic first.

“We wanted to be the first black women to ever win the tournament and to win a national debate tournament ever and so we made that happen,” said Ameena Ruffin.

It takes a lot of preparation and confidence to win.

“We’re the seated champions,” said Korey Johnson. “We think we’re really good.”

It took two minutes to explain their topic: a specific use of presidential war powers. They are two smart, funny, determined college students who beat the two best debate teams in the country–something that is immensely pleasing to their dean.

“I think it’s beginning to dawn on them how important this was and their commitment was always there. They were traveling in some pretty rarefied circles,” said Communications Dean Susan Picinich.

Most teams win when they are seniors. With Ruffin being a junior, the Towson team has one more year of eligibility.

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