UTD Qualifies for Third Straight
National Debate Tournament

Clark – Stephens Team to Compete with Nation’s Best at Northwestern

RICHARDSON, Texas (March 8, 2006) – For the third consecutive year, The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has qualified to participate in the National Debate Tournament (NDT), the most prestigious collegiate debate tournament held in the United States.

The 2006 NDT, the 60th annual event, will feature 78 teams from 49 colleges and universities, including leading debate programs such as the University of California – Berkeley, Harvard University, Michigan State University and Northwestern University. The tournament will be held on the Northwestern campus in Evanston, Illinois, March 23 – 27.

Representing UTD will be the team of Britt Clark, a senior from Deer Park, Texas, majoring in government and politics, and Sara Stephens, a sophomore from Pensacola, Florida, also a government and politics major. Clark and Stephens qualified for the national tournament at a regional championship held in Kansas City, Kansas, in late February, where the pair finished with six wins and three losses, including wins against talented teams from the University of Kansas and the University of Texas at Austin.

This is the third year in a row that Clark has qualified for the NDT. Clark and Stephens qualified as a team last year.

“The UTD Debate Team is excited and proud to again represent the university at such a prestigious event and compete against such elite competition,” said UTD Director of Debate Chris Burk. “Three consecutive NDT qualifications is not an easy task for even the best programs in the country, and is another indication that ours is a program on the rise.”

According to Burk, UTD had never participated in the NDT prior to 2004. This year’s qualification caps the best season in UTD Debate history. Last fall, the university was ranked third in the nation in the Varsity Point Rankings of the NDT – its highest ranking ever. UTD finished the fall semester with the 15 th-best college debate program in the country and is currently ranked 16 th nationally.

UTD competes in a district that includes all colleges and universities located in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas – a region that Burk labels “the toughest in the country.”

“Our region consistently sends more teams to the NDT than any other, which makes our qualification both impressive and particularly gratifying,” Burk said.

In addition to UTD, other Texas colleges headed for Evanston in several weeks include Baylor University, the University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Austin and Trinity University.

The debate topic for the upcoming tournament is the same one college students have argued throughout the current season: “Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should substantially increase diplomatic and economic pressure on the People's Republic of China in one or more of the following areas: trade, human rights, weapons nonproliferation, Taiwan.”

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls nearly 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.