BROWNWOOD – October 23, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently hosted members of the British National Debate team. While on campus, the British team squared off against two Student Speaker Bureau members in an exhibition debate and led workshops on international affairs and debate skills.
HPU juniors Christopher Freeland of Bangs and Tyler Olin of Howe debated against British team members Rebecca Howarth and Richard Hunter on the topic “This house regrets social media.” The teams debated using the parliamentary debate format.
“We debated using parliamentary debate format, which requires four debaters, as opposed to the British Parliamentary debate format, which is the preferred style of debate in most debates in higher education outside of the United States. BP debate requires eight debaters,” said Dr. Julie Welker, HPU professor of communication, chair of the Department of Communication and Student Speaker Bureau coach. “It was valuable for our students to get an opportunity to compete against two seasoned debaters who are very skilled.”
HPU students and personnel, as well as several community members including prospective students, attended the exhibition debate. While there were no official judges for the event, audience members were given the opportunity to express their opinions of the debaters’ persuasiveness.
“Before the debate, we asked audience members to decide if they were on the affirmative or opposition side of the topic,” Dr. Welker said. “We asked again following the debate and many had changed their opinions. Debate is a wonderful forum for increasing civil dialogue about controversial topics.”
Cutlines: HPU junior Christopher Freeland, at podium, argues for the affirmative on the topic “This house regrets social media.”
Members of HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau recently debated members of the British National Debate team. Left to right: Christopher Freeland (Student Speaker Bureau), Tyler Olin (Student Speaker Bureau), Richard Hunter (British National Debate team) and Rebecca Howarth (British National Debate team).