2014 Lafayette Public Debates Teams Announced
Austin, TX – The University of Texas debate team has been invited to participate in the prestigious Lafayette Debates, public debates April 11-13 in Washington, D.C., hosted by the French Embassy in partnership with the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies of the George Washington University.
Natural Science senior Risha Bhattacharjee (Coppell, TX) and CMS sophomore Haley Tuchman (Chicago, IL), were selected to represent the University because of their outstanding performance in the Lafayette On-line Debates. “Several UT students participated in the debate and reached the elimination rounds, but Risha and Haley had the best overall performance,” said Joel Rollins, director of debating and senior lecturer in UT’s communication studies department.
“The Lafayette debates are a unique experience that allows undergraduate students to intellectually engage with renowned international relations scholars, political figures from around the world, and policy-makers and business professionals in the global community. There are few opportunities quite like it,” Rollins said.
Teams that advance to the final four of the debates will be invited to France to continue their exploration of the tournament topic firsthand in discussions with French government officials, diplomats, scholars and business people. This prize includes round-trip airfare, lodging and expenses while in France. These debates are intended to promote dialogue and relations between the United States and France by engaging future leaders on timely topics of mutual interest.
The topic selected for the 2013-14 Lafayette Debates addresses an issue of critical importance to both the United States and France, specifically, that nation states “should maintain, adopt and implement policies and measures that they deem appropriate for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions on their territory.”
In exploration of this topic, students will research and debate the goals and objectives of the seminal international agreement on cultural preservation, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
“We are honored that UT students have the opportunity to promote UT’s on-going mission of global engagement,” Rollins said.
The University of Texas has a long history of debating at the national level, qualifying for the National Debate Tournament for the past 30 years. A “rivalry” debate between UT and Southern California has been set for the second round of the competition.
For more information, please contact Dr. Joel Rollins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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