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PCC Debaters Pave the Way to Athens with Victory

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Portland Community College’s Athens-bound parliamentary debate team of Tomi Douglas and Jil Freeman defeated two teams from Stanford University the Nov. 1-2 weekend to advance to the final round of a World’s Debating Championship Preparation Tournament held at the University of LaVerne in Southern California. The University of Wyoming defeated PCC to win first place.

PCC debaters Jil Freeman and Jerome Cole (substituting for Tomi Douglas) took first place Nov. 8-9 at the Lower Columbia College Forensics Tournament in senior division of parliamentary debate. Freeman and Cole went 5-1 in prelims, then defeated Northwest College in a 3-0 decision.

The victories keep the momentum and adrenaline flowing in the wake of a raffle fund-raiser by the PCC debate team that pulled in almost $1,400. The funds will send two PCC debaters to the 18th annual World Universities Debating Championships in Athens, Greece from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5. The prestigious annual tournament will host more than 500 competitors from over 40 countries. The raffle drawing was attended by a cheering throng, including the two-person British Debate Team, at the Greek Cusina Restaurant in downtown Portland on Oct. 28.

"It just dawned on me that this is real," said Athens-bound debater Tomi Douglas. "We’ve been thinking about it for a year." The debating duo met last fall, when they had separate debating partners. Since then they’ve become best friends and roommates, sharing a place in Northwest Portland.

Larry Galizio, director of the forensics team and a speech instructor at Sylvania Campus, thanked the campus community for their support. "The students and myself are overwhelmed by how consistently people from PCC always come through," he said.

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