Date: March 14, 2005
CONTACT: Jeff Stoughton, jeff.stoughton@ttu.edu

LUBBOCK – Texas Tech University’s forensics program will host the National Parliamentary Debate Championship Tournament Thursday through Sunday on the Tech campus and in locations throughout the city.

Ric Shafer, director of Texas Tech’s forensics program, said the tournament will bring schools from around the nation and world to Lubbock to compete. Notre Dame, Rice University, West Texas A&M University and California State University, Long Beach are among the schools scheduled to attend. The national debate champions from Ireland will face off against three American students at a banquet Thursday evening.

Texas Tech worked with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce and submitted a bid to the National Parliamentary Debate Association in 2002 to host the tournament. Shafer said Texas Tech won the honor because it had hosted the tournament before, in 1997, and because the university’s forensics program has a strong reputation nationally.

The tournament will feature parliamentary debate, in which students face off on a variety of topics given to them shortly before the round starts. Shafer said the topics can vary considerably from one round to the next.

“Students who compete are expected to be prepared to debate on any issue on the national or international level,” Shafer said. “In one round, they could be debating President Bush’s privatization of Social Security, and in the next, they could be talking about Syria’s withdrawal from Lebanon.”

The National Parliamentary Debate Association has nearly 400 member schools, ranging in size from junior colleges to four-year universities.


CONTACT: Ric Shafer, director of forensics, (806) 742-1328 or ric.shafer@ttu.edu.