A debate team from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) finished third against some stiff national collegiate competition earlier this week at the Ulrich Season Opener hosted by the University of Northern Iowa. The UTD team was composed of Britt Clark, a senior from Deer Park majoring in government and politics, and Sara Stephens, a sophomore from Pensacola, Fla., also majoring in government and politics. Clark and Stephens beat teams from both the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa to finish third.
A second team from UTD, made up of Ahmad Abbas, a sophomore from Houston majoring in accounting and information management, and Jason Larey, a junior from Shreveport, La., majoring in government and politics, tied for 17th. The tournament, which was held in Cedar Falls, Iowa, was won by a team from the University of Kansas. Wayne State University finished second. Nearly 60 teams from 20 universities participated in the competition.
“This is a great way to start the year. We have a squad with experienced, hard-working debaters whose efforts are gaining results” said Chris Burk, director of debate at UTD. “This shows that the UTD debate team is moving from a regional powerhouse to a team that is able to achieve success on the national circuit. This should elevate us in the national rankings.”
The topic for the 2005-2006 collegiate debate season is: “Resolved: 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.”
The UTD debate team participates in about a dozen tournaments each year. UTD also hosts the largest intercollegiate debate tournament in the region every January. The UTD debate team has qualified for the National Debate Tournament for the past two years.