CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 29, 2000
Statewide speech tournament will be March 2-4 at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An estimated 550 Iowa high school students will gather
at the University of Iowa Thursday through Saturday, March 2-4 for this year's
state speech tournament. The three-day forensics competition augments for
participants--whether they win or lose--critical thinking and verbal skills
needed to compete in collegiate classrooms, says Paul Bellus, coordinator
of the UI's A. Craig Baird Debate Forum.
All debates are open to the public, and spectators may choose to hear either
the Lincoln-Douglas-style debates at 2 p.m. at the English-Philosophy Building
or the policy debates, a series of which will be held in various rooms of
the Iowa Memorial Union beginning at 2 p.m.
In the Lincoln-Douglas debate style, participants volley moral propositions,
such as whether individual rights outweigh the needs of a community. Lincoln-Douglas
debates are more audience-centered, and proceed at a more conversational pace,
Bellus says. At the policy debates, two persons debate questions about a policy,
which focuses on an election year issue, such as whether the federal government
should adopt policy to increase achievement in secondary schools.
Students from Iowa schools, such as Ankeny, Des Moines and Okoboji, will
compete in the two format styles, both of which will help students form arguments,
according to Bellus.
"In college, students are expected to construct arguments and write
position papers. Debate teaches those skills. Debating is across the curriculum,"
More high school students participate in the Lincoln-Douglas format, Bellus
says; therefore, the UI's A. Craig Baird Debate Forum is planning to make
that format open to more high school students, who for the spirit of competition,
want to continue debating in college.
The April 14-15 Lincoln-Douglas tournament to be held at the UI will allow
Bellus and other coaches to gauge students' demand for that format style.
Policy debates will he held in the following Second and Third Floor rooms
at the IMU and will continue Friday and Saturday: Illinois, Wisconsin, Kirkwood,
Miller, Lucas-Dodge, Northwestern, Penn State, Hoover, Indiana, Purdue, Ohio
State, Michigan State, and Minnesota.