UTD Debate Team Qualifies for National Tourney

For the second year in a row, The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has qualified a team for the nation’s top collegiate forensics competition – the National Debate Tournament.

The UTD team of Britt Clark, a junior from Deer Park, Texas, and Sara Stephens, a freshman from Pensacola, Florida, was one of eight teams out of a field of 20 to advance in a regional qualifying tournament held last weekend on the campus of UTD. A total of 78 teams from colleges across the nation will participate in the 59 th annual national tournament, to be held March 24-28 at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

The regional qualifying tournament held at UTD was a competition among colleges from six states – Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. The other seven qualifiers from the regional tournament were teams from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Kansas, Baylor University, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Missouri–Kansas City, Southwest Missouri State University and Fort Hays State University.

The Clark-Stephens team from UTD entered the tournament ranked 14 th in the district. It narrowly defeated a team from Trinity University in San Antonio to claim the eighth and final qualifying spot for the national tournament.

Christopher Burk, UTD’s director of debate, called the UTD–Trinity battle “a nail biter,” and attributed the victory to the efforts of the entire UTD debate team, whose members worked together for weeks conducting research projects to help prepare the competitors.