HPU debater advances to semi-finals, others earn honors at Houston tournament

Bayou City for webBROWNWOOD – November 6, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the Bayou City Swing Speech and Debate Tournament, held at Lone Star College in Houston. Lucy Manning, sophomore communication, social sciences jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Fort Worth, advanced to semi-finals in international public debate.

Additionally, Manning earned the overall fourth-place top speaker position of the tournament, fifth-place international public debate speaker and fourth-place parliamentary debate speaker.

Freshman Ben Olin, social sciences jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe, was the top international public debate speaker at the tournament, third overall debate speaker and ninth-place parliamentary debate speaker.

Senior Tyler Olin, social sciences jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe, was fifth-place parliamentary debate speaker.

Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, coaches the team.

“These students have been working very hard on debate structure, advocacy skills and argumentation skills,” she said. “We focus heavily on good presentational skills as well, and it shows by having three of the tournament’s top individual speakers.”

In both international public debate and parliamentary debate, students receive a topic and have a limited amount of preparation time before the debate round. Each round has a different topic. Topics at the tournament included the affordable housing crisis, changing the number of seats on the Supreme Court, Saudi Arabia/Turkey political relations, genetic testing regulations and rap music’s influence on politics, among others.

“Students who compete for HPU’s speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, must be well-versed in all current events, both domestic and foreign,” said Dr. Welker. “Students must be quick thinkers and have excellent critical thinking skills.”

HPU competed against 16 colleges and universities from Texas, Illinois and Louisiana.

Other students who competed at the tournament were Madison Neal, junior communication major from Chandler, and Alek Mendoza, freshman theatre major from Bangs.

For more information about HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau, visit www.hputx.edu/ssb.

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the Bayou City Swing Speech and Debate Tournament at Lone Star College in Houston. Left to right are Lucy Manning, Ben Olin, Tyler Olin, Alek Mendoza, Madison Neal and Dr. Julie Welker.