MSU hosts Swing Debate Schnoor Tournament

Minnesota State’s Speech and Debate Team hosted the Larry Schnoor Invitational and the MavFAN Debate Tournament Oct. 14-15 in Armstrong Hall.

With the theme of Sch-NORE, event featured members of the Speech and Debate Team wearing pajamas throughout the day while participating in formal debate competitions. In Armstrong 101, where the awards were handed out, clouds and other decorations hung on the walls as part of the theme.

“This tournament always has a funky theme to it,” said Katie Brunner, director of the forensics program.

Past years themes have included Schnoork Week, Semi-Schnoor-mal Prom, and Film Schnoor. One year had a Frank Sinatra theme and featured Schnoor performing a Sinatra song as part of the awards ceremony.

The tournament is named for Larry Schnoor, a former director of the forensics program who helped create multiple events still in use in debate competitions.

“(Schnoor) is an institution in forensics. We are honored to be a part of the team he started and ran for so long,” said Brunner, “Larry is one of those people that always makes you feel like a million bucks when you’re around him. He’s a huge personality but every student he ever worked with truly believed they had something to say that mattered.”

Students from around the midwest, including Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota participated in the tournament, in addition to students from MSU. Twelve schools had teams in this year’s tournament according to Brunner.

“I liked doing this one seeing all the new faces since it’s my first year and getting to see all the people we’ll be going up against this year,” said Speech and Debate member Sebastian Emeline.

“This is an opportunity for our students to be able to compete in different events and be able to qualify those events to nationals. So I think it started on both levels as one of those opportunities within the midwest region for people to get together to come and share their advocacy but also in honor of Larry,” said Brunner.

The MavFAN Tournament held Sunday was put together for alumni and featured a fundraiser for Southwest Partnership for Housing.

“Since we started pairing with our alumni, we’re fundraising for the Southwest Partnership for Housing,” said Brunner, “All of the registration costs for (the MavFAN Tournament) plus activities funds will go towards supporting that local organization.”

A quiet room was included to help students relax and make the tournament more accessible.

Schnoor retired in 1991 and continued to attend the Schnoor Invitational regularly up until recently. Unfortunately Schnoor was unable to attend this year’s debate due to him “aging gracefully” according to Brunner in a statement acknowledging Schnoor’s absence at the awards ceremony.

Write to Jeremy Redlien at

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