Debate team hosts weekend tournament

Debate teams prep for their rounds at UAM tournament. | Submitted Photo

Students from around 10 different schools will file in to campus Oct. 16-17 with one thing in common: a love for debate.

Union will be hosting an International Public Debate Association tournament this weekend. This will be the first debate tournament Union has hosted since 2011.

“All debate teams on the circuit host a tournament,” said Blake Hodges, senior marketing major and member of the debate team. “This is a good chance for Union to contribute to the debate league.”

A typical debate tournament consists of several different preliminary rounds and out-rounds that will determine which debaters qualify to compete in the finals and take home the biggest trophies.

Amy Knack, sophomore TESL and Spanish double major and the team’s historian, describes a weekend of debate as filled with “lots of Googling and lots of talking.” Knack recalls debating as many as 13 rounds in one weekend.

One thing that makes the world of debate so exciting is that one never knows what topic they may receive, according to Allison Pulliam, senior broadcast journalism and political science double major and last year’s professional division debate champion. This encourages her to research topics she otherwise would not consider.

“We debate a different topic each round, so you might begin the day talking about foreign policy and end it by talking about college football,” Pulliam said. “You never know what kinds of topics you’ll get, which makes things more interesting. You get a half hour to prepare for each round, so things get pretty hectic as competitors are scrambling to research.”

Students on campus are invited to get involved with the competition by coming to help judge a debate round or to simply watch students debate.

Katie Kelly, sophomore biology major, highly encourages students to participate so that they can see what goes into a debate round. Kelly’s desire is for students to see the opportunity as an entertaining learning experience.

“I would love to see the campus welcoming these debaters humbly into our school,” Russell Richardson, sophomore business management major, said. “We have a great opportunity to showcase what makes Union great—Christ.”

Students interested in judging rounds this weekend should contact Web Drake, associate professor of communication arts, department chair and director of debate. Email him at

Friday, Oct. 16

3:15 to 4:30 p.m.              Round 1

5 to 6:15 p.m.              Round 2

6:45 t0 8 p.m.               Round 3

8:30 to 9:45 p.m.              Round 4

Saturday, Oct. 17

8:15 to 9:30 a.m.               Round 5

10 to 11:15 a.m.             Round 6

11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.              Round 7

1:30 to 3 p.m.               Round 8

3:45 to 4:30 p.m.              Octafinals

6:15 to 7 p.m.               Quarterfinals

7:30 to 8:15 p.m.              Semifinals

8:45 to 9:30 p.m.               Finals

Image courtesy of Submitted photo | Amy Knack
About Kallan Parker 32 Articles
Kallan Parker is a Union University class of 2017 public relations major with an english minor and staff writer for the Cardinal & Cream. She enjoys music, songwriting and traveling.