Jaz Buckley, Kyle Bligen Top Two Debaters at UC Berkeley’s Golden Gate Invitational


MACON – The top-two individual speakers at this past weekend's Golden Gate Invitational at the University of California, Berkeley, were both Mercer Bears.

Senior Jaz Buckley, a political science and women's and gender studies double-major, won the first-place speaker award, followed by second-place speaker and fellow senior Kyle Bligen, a politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) major.

Buckley and Bligen together reached the semifinal round in the National Parliamentary Debate Association tournament with a perfect record in all six pre-elimination rounds.

Additionally, the team of senior Daniel Alvarez and junior Keanu Lowo advanced to the octofinals round.

“This tournament proves, yet again, that Mercer produces some of the top students in the nation,” said Dr. Vasile Stanescu, director of debate. “We are teaching students who not only win throughout the state of Georgia, but who win nationally against other top universities throughout the U.S. I could not be prouder of each of these exceptional students and debaters.”