Debate Team Heads Into New Season with Promising New Members

Sep. 21, 2012

Jacob Loehr

Carly Woo

Rolando Velasquesz

The UT Dallas debate team will open its 2012-2013 season this weekend at the Brian Johnson Memorial Tournament, hosted by the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Freshmen Jacob Loehr and partner Rolando Velasquesz will team up for their first-ever collegiate debate tournament.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment to compete since high school. Collegiate debate is full of the best and brightest and I’m more than excited to be given an opportunity to represent the University,” Loehr said.

Carly Woo, a freshman studying international political economy, and sophomore Dalton Mott will also compete for UT Dallas. The two teams will debate alongside more than 80 teams from the likes of Emory University, The University of Kansas and Indiana University.

“We’re young, but we’re talented. That counts for a lot. There will be some growing pains, but I expect to see this group mature and excel quickly,” said Scott Herndon, director of the debate program. 

Since its inception in 1996, the debate team has created a name for itself as a competitive national program with elimination round appearances at major tournaments, including a showing at the quarterfinals of the 2010 National Debate Tournament. UT Dallas debaters have garnered major national awards: Brian Rubaie was named the Cross Examinational Debate Association’s 2010 National Debater of the Year.

Last year, the debate team graduated top debaters Collin Roark and Wes Dwyer, who took first place at the spring 2012 Brian Johnson Memorial Tournament.

Debate and Decide

On Sept. 25 at 4:30 in the Galaxy Room C, the Debate Team and the Comet Debate Society are hosting “Debate and Decide 2012.” Two student political organizations – the Comet Conservatives and College Democrats – will argue topics of domestic policy. Dr. Edward Harpham, associate provost and professor of government and political economy at UT Dallas, will moderate the debate.  Students can register to vote at the event.

In college debate, two teams, each composed of two students, face off on a general topic — one taking the affirmative position, the other the negative side.  The topic for the 2012-13 season is “The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce restrictions on and/or substantially increase financial incentives for energy production in the United States of one or more of the following: coal, crude oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power, wind power.”

The team’s next competition comes in October at the University of Kentucky. The freshmen team of Loehr and Velasquez will compete with 100 of the best teams in collegiate debate.

Media Contact: Chaz Lilly, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]
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June 18, 2018