The Texas Tech University Forensics Union began the 2012-2013 debate season with four high profile wins at the first four tournaments of the year. Beginning the season at William Jewell College, the team placed first in overall sweepstakes for their dominating team performance. Rob Layne, Director of the Forensics Union, says, “We have a really deep squad. The Forensics Union has three teams that could threaten to win the National Championship.”
The depth of the team is evidenced by three event wins by three separate teams at three different tournaments. At the United States Air Force Academy’s 50th Annual Invitational, Senior Tyler Cashiola and Sophomore Kevin Thompson placed first in Open Parliamentary Debate. A week later, Junior Joey Donaghy and Senior JT Seymore took the tournament championship at Lewis & Clark College’s regional meet. Finally, in Colorado Springs, Seniors Robert Maxwell and Laci Kennedy placed first at Colorado College’s 68th Annual Tournament.
In addition to experienced individuals doing well, the team also has been working to improve and cultivate novice and inexperienced debate at Texas Tech. “The team has been working with several novice competitors to teach them argumentation and debate skills,” said Layne. Inexperienced debaters from TTU have made it to the final round of every tournament the team has entered, winning two tournament championships in inexperienced divisions.
The team has also been working to expand scholarship opportunities for members of the Forensics Union. The team is kicking off their drive for scholarship monies to help debaters attend Texas Tech. Layne explains, “this fundraising drive to get alumni and supporters to give to the debate team’s scholarship fund is critical. Without it, students that are already stretched thin have to make financial choices about being able to participate in the activity.” The team hopes to raise $50,000 by the end of the year to put into a scholarship endowment. If interested in giving to the scholarship fund, contact Rob Layne (firstname.lastname@example.org) or consider giving through www.give2tech.com (search for Debate Fund for Excellence).