Debate Team Delivers at National Championship Tournaments
Team placed fifth in the country and ranked within the top ten for its season-long performance.
Written by Megan Ketterer
The debate team returned to Lubbock with three tournament wins, 26 team awards and 37 speaker awards.
Texas Tech University Forensics Union concluded its season with winning performances at two national championship tournaments.
The team collectively placed fifth in the country and ranked within the top ten of the country for its season-long performance.
“We have had one of Texas Tech’s strongest performances as a team during the 2012-2013 season,” said Robert Layne, Texas Tech director of forensics. “With multiple speaker awards, a high season-end ranking and multiple teams in deep elimination rounds, Texas Tech debate is a force to be reckoned with on the national level.”
The first tournament, the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, qualifies teams based on the season performance, while the National Championship Tournament is open to all debate students.
Team members read current events and write evidentiary briefs to prepare for competition. Students receive the debate topic 15 minutes prior to the start time and are given that time to prepare.
At the first tournament, held at the University of Nevada at Reno, three Texas Tech teams qualified to attend the competition.
Laci Kennedy, a senior political science major from Helena, Mont., was awarded as second speaker in the country, while her debate partner Robert Maxwell, a senior communication studies major from Englewood, Calif., received fourth place in the category.
“Success at nationals was such a blessing and very humbling, especially against great competition,” Kennedy said.
Following the qualifying tournament, the debate team competed in the National Parliamentary Debate Association’s National Championship Tournament, where 157 teams contended.
At this competition, the team debated 25 different topics, ranging from regulations on compound pharmacies to the United States’ nuclear policy with North Korea.
Kennedy and Maxwell placed third, losing to a team from Southern Illinois University on a 5-2 decision. The Southern Illinois team continued on to become national champions.
Texas Tech’s debate team won two top speaker awards for Kennedy (14th place) and JT Seymore, a senior communications studies major from Wichita Falls, followed, who placed 17th in the competition.
At the conclusion of the competition, members of the debate team returned to Lubbock with three tournament wins, 26 team awards, and 37 speaker awards.
Texas Tech School of Law
The Texas Tech School of Law is a leader among Texas law schools with a 16-year average pass rate of 90 percent on the State Bar Exam.
A small student body, a diverse faculty and a low student-faculty ratio (15.3:1) promotes learning and encourages interaction between students and professors.