Sunday, February 2, 2014

UT Tyler Debate Competes at the Mile High Swing

The University of Utah at
Salt Lake City, Utah
Last weekend, on January 18-20, the UT Tyler Parliamentary Debate team traveled to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah to compete at the Mile High Swing, a two-tournament weekend hosted by the University of Utah and Texas Tech University.  With over 90 teams in attendance, the tournament is considered to be the most challenging invitational of the competition season, and is a strong predictor for how individual teams perform at the national tournaments in March.

The tournament is called the “Mile High Swing” because it was originally hosted at the University of Denver for a number of years, but then became a traveling tournament. It was been hosted at venues such as Texas Tech University, Western Washington University, Colorado College, and most recently, the University of Utah.

The first tournament in the swing, hosted by Texas Tech University, was a topic area tournament.  Like the tournament held at Washburn University in November, controversy areas were previously announced for competitors to base their arguments around.  These were the areas debated in eleven rounds of competition over a day and a half:

The United States federal government should substantially reduce limitations on civil torts in the United States in one or more of the following areas: statute of limitations on filings, availability of class action lawsuits, caps on damages.

The United States federal government should substantially improve their relationship with the Republic of India in one or more of the following areas: immigration, trade, military sales, and/or minority relations.

The United States should adopt one or more of Robert McChesney’s proposals for mass media reform.

The United States federal government should substantially increase its oversight and/or restrictions on the National Security Administration and/or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The United States federal government should significantly increase regulations on securities and trades in the United States.

UT Tyler entered three teams in this tournament: UT Tyler FH (Dallas Flick and Carver Hodgkiss), UT Tyler DH (Kaleb Drake and Steven Hullum), and UT Tyler BC (Caitlun Bull and Sam Cook).  In the first half of the tournament, BC and DH broke to elimination rounds, both losing in the double octofinal round to Texas Tech University and Northern Arizona University, respectively.  In this tournament, the UT Tyler teams were able to best teams from notable universities such as UC Berkeley, Air Force Academy and the University of the Pacific.

The second half of the tournament was held in the conventional tournament format, with topics that are not previously disclosed, but instead based solely on current issues and events.  The same three teams entered, and all three broke to elimination rounds on the final day of competition.  DH and BC both were bested in the triple octofinal round by McKendree University and Point Loma University, respectively, on a topic regarding ownership recognition of the Senkaku Islands.  FH won that round against the University of Utah, and lost in the double octofinal round to William Jewell College on a topic regarding removing the tax exemption of religious institutions in the United States.  In this half of the tournament, UT Tyler conquered over teams from schools such as the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Puget Sound, and the University of Nevada at Reno.
Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff, Arizona

The next tournament for the entire team will be our national tournament at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona- the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.  Tournament preparation will begin in late February, and the tournament begins on the last weekend of Spring Break.  Keep up with results at, and check out to see who will be competing in the tournament.

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