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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

News Release

For Immediate Release

News contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UTD, (972) 883-4431 [email protected]

For First Time Ever, UTD Students Invited
To Participate in the National Debate Tournament

Competition Will Be Held in Washington, D.C.

RICHARDSON, Texas (March 11, 2004) — For the first time ever, two debaters from The University of Texas at Dallas’ team have been invited to participate in the National Debate Tournament (NDT), scheduled to take place at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from March 31 to April 7.

The students — both government and politics majors at UTD — are Britt Clark, a 20-year-old sophomore from Deer Park, Texas, and Jason Larey, an 18-year-old freshman from Shreveport, La. They will participate as a team.

The NDT is the most prestigious debate tournament in the country and is held at the end of the college debate season. The winner is seen as the single best team for that year. Only 78 teams qualify for the tournament each year, although a single school potentially could send up to three teams or partnerships to the competition.

Clark and Larey will compete against teams from Harvard University, The University of Texas at Austin, Emory University, Wake Forest University, Cornell University and the University of California, Berkeley, among others.

The invitation to the NDT caps off a busy year for the UTD debate program. Beginning last September, the UTD team attended a tournament at Wichita State University in Kansas. There, Clark and Larey took first place in the varsity division. The two took second place at a tournament at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., and then went on to the major tournament of the fall semester, hosted by Wake Forest University. There, Clark and Larey finished with four wins and four losses, a respectable showing for a sophomore/freshman team.

In January of this year, the UTD debate program hosted its own inaugural intercollegiate debate tournament, with more than 70 teams from across the country participating. The team rounded out the season by attending tournaments hosted by the University of North Texas, Baylor University and Northwestern University, as well as the regional qualifier for the NDT.

In debate, a new topic is chosen at the start of each school year. This year’s topic is United States–European relations. Under that subject, debaters may be asked to argue a wide range of issues, including trade, the military presence in Iraq or any other current event touching on U.S. and European relations. For the NDT, Clark and Larey will be challenged with arguing both for and against whatever aspect of U.S.–European relations they are presented.

Chris Burk serves as director of the UTD debate program, and Scott Herndon is assistant director. Other members of the team include Melissa Litwin, a freshman from Round Rock, Texas; Gaby Stevenson, a sophomore from El Paso; Treavor Andreas, a freshman from The Woodlands, Texas; Lawrence Williams, a junior from Victoria, Texas; and Christa Bieker, a freshman from Royse City, Texas.

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 more than 13,700 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 web site at http://www.utdallas.edu.

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