WT Communication Department to Host UK Debaters

Oct. 1, 2019

CONTACT: Dr. Trudy Hanson, 806-651-2800, thanson@wtamu.edu


WT's Communication Department to Host UK Debaters

Canyon, Texas—The Communication Department at West Texas A&M University and the Communication Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta (LPH), will host a parliamentary style debate featuring two debaters from the English Speaking Union and two debaters from the WT Forensics Team 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Legacy Hall.

Each year, the Committee on International Discussion and Debate of the National Communication Association hosts the United States tour by the UK debaters. This year, the ESU representatives are Niamh Thompson, a graduate of medicine from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and Dan Scanio, a philosophy graduate from Oxford Brookes University. Partnering with the UK debaters will be first year students Kaleigh Rodarte-Suto, a pre-business major from Canyon, and Tearaneé Lockhart, a broadcast journalism major from Amarillo.

Thompson explains that being from a mixed family in Northern Ireland who was highly impacted by the civil conflict caused her to have a personal interest in the role of debate and discourse in reducing conflict and building communities. Her particular areas of interest are international relations, conflict theory and global health. She began debating while earning her medical degree and was president of the Scottish Student Debating Council as well as her own society of Strathclyde. She was an open semifinalist at the European University Debating Championship and a grand finalist at the Oxford IV, where she was the best-ranked female speaker.

Dan Scanio is an experienced debater having competed in university, national and international competitions. He was the national champion of the Insurance Law Moot 2016. He also won the Monroe Cup debating Competition 2019, which invites students from all four Inns of Court to compete. Scanio has taught debating and public speaking skills to students, aged 11-19 years-old.

The resolution being considered is “This house believes that the International Olympic Committee should separate Olympic categories by weight, weight and muscle mass rather than sex.” The parliamentary style debate involves the audience in the process. Those favoring the government sit on one side of the aisle. While those supporting the opposition sit on the other side of the aisle. If during the debate, something is said that causes the participants to disagree, they can “cross” the aisle to join the other side.

At the end of the debate, there will be a division of the house, allowing each participant to vote on which team won the debate. During the course of the debate, audience members can call out “Hear, Hear” when they support what the speaker is saying or they can say “For Shame!” when the speaker says something with which they disagree. Lambda Pi Eta members will be assisting with the debate. LPH Chapter Vice President Tori Browder will serve as the emcee for the event, and LPH President Stock Chenault will serve as the timekeeper.

The event is free and open to the public. High school speech teams are encouraged to attend. For more information about the debate, contact Dr. Trudy Hanson at thanson@wtamu.edu or 806-651-2800.