Tech hosts first debate tournament

After about six weeks of preparation, the Arkansas Tech University Debate and Forensics team was able to host its first debate tournament Friday through Sunday and gain participation from six different universities.

The six universities represented at the tournament included Arkansas State University, Harding University, Langston University, Lee College, Union University and the University of Central Arkansas.

Sierra Abram, junior communications major from Broken Arrow, Okla., and president of the Tech Debate and Forensics team, said the event was difficult to coordinate but ran smoothly.

“The hardest thing we had to deal with in preparing for this was the lack of time, but once everything was finally set in place we, overall, ran an extremely successful debate tournament,” Abram said.

Not only was the entire Tech Debate and Forensics team involved in running the tournament, but the Tech community, including some professors, alumni and students who were seeking service hours also helped with judging the debate rounds and offering an extra hand where help was needed.

Kegan Walls, a Tech alumnus who helped judge debate rounds, said, “I never fully realized how educational debate could be. Just watching the rounds, I learned so much information, and it helped me see why so many people are passionate about the sport.”

Crystal Kilby, a senior communications major from Hot Springs and member of the team, said, “We really learned a lot this past weekend about team work.

“It took all hands on deck to make this tournament a success, and I think I speak for my entire team when I say that I am so proud of how far this team has come and how far I know it has the potential to go.”