Tech debate team continues success

During the weekend of Jan. 30 through Feb. 1, the Arkansas Tech University Debate and Forensics team participated in the Southern Forensics Championship hosted by John Brown University.

The debate team of Jesse Hickman and Rebecca Lawson advanced to the octagonal round in the Team International Public Debate Association (IPDA) side of the tournament. Hickman also took home the fifth-place speaker award for Team IPDA debate. On the Individual IPDA debate side of the tournament, Lawson advanced to the octagonal round in the varsity division.

The debate team continues its tournament schedule this weekend at a tournament hosted by Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, La.

The debate team is also about to cross another milestone in the development of the program.

Feb. 27 through March 1, Tech will host its first debate tournaments in more than a decade. The Tech debate team will host two tournaments — the Team Me Up team-only IPDA tournament and the TECHnically Speaking individual and team IPDA tournament.

This will be the first tournament weekend in IPDA history in which a double-team tournament has been offered. Tech will also be rolling out a new tournament flighting system developed by Dr. Gabriel Adkins and Dr. Chris Duerringer, the current and former team coaches, respectively.

“This is an incredible opportunity for ATU and the ATU debate team to show off our campus and our community to the debate community,” Adkins said. “The debate teams have a lot of plans for continued growth, and hosting tournaments on our campus represents a cornerstone for our team’s increased ability to compete successfully in collegiate debate.”

The Tech debate team is still looking to add volunteer judges to the pool of available judges for the tournament.

Students or faculty members who do not have a background in competitive debate are especially desired, as IPDA debate is designed to promote public, non-technically driven debate skills.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Adkins at