UAM to host National Tournament

Jennifer Adcock
Contributing Writer     

   The University of Arkansas at Monticello will host the International Public Debate Association's National Championship Tournament April 15-17. UAM has never hosted the national tournament before, so this will be a first for the university.

   "There was an opportunity and we took it," UAM Forensics director and IDPA executive secretary Scott Kuttenkuler said. “We are honored and excited to have the opportunity to host this year’s championships. The competitors represent the very best debate students from across the United States.”

   The competition will begin at 3 p.m. April 15 and conclude with the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals beginning April 17 at 8 a.m. The competition will be staged at various locations around campus, including the Memorial Classroom Building, the Babin Business Center, Sorrells Hall and Wells Hall.

   "This is the first time a national tournament has been to UAM," first-year debate team member Brian Rauls said. "We hope to represent UAM well and close out a good year for the debate team. This is a prestigious opportunity for the team and the school and will be a chance to bring attention to UAM on a national scale. It will bring people to the campus and show positive attributes instead of just hearing about them."

   The team is excited because they are offered a unique opportunity to not only compete in the national tournament, but also opeate it. It will be a learning experience for everyone involved.

   "We really worked hard to prepare for this event and it is a really special opportunity," said Brandi Morgan, president of the Debate Society. "I think it would be a great chance for anyone serious about or interested in debate to come and see how things work."

   Hosting nationals is different from just attending because the team has a hand in everything that happens. It is different from hosting an oridinary debate tournament like Weevil Wars or Last Call Classic, two tournaments hosted by UAM, because the expected size of the national tournament is between 135 and 170 students and coaches compared to the 60 that attend Weevil Wars and Last Call.

   "We hope a lot of people get involved," Rauls added.

   The tournament consists of eight rounds of debate in three divisions. All debates are open to the public. In conjunction with the tournament, UAM will also host the IPDA national convention prior to the beginning of competitive rounds. Convention meetings and presentation of scholarly research papers will take place April 15 beginning at 9 a.m. in the gallery and conference rooms of the Fred J. Taylor Library and Technology Center.

   For more information, contact Kuttenkuler at (870) 460-1579.  

    Adviser's note: Media Services contributed to this article.  

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