Brian A. Lain, associate professor of communication studies and director of UNT's Debate Team, was named coach of the American National Debate Team. In June, the American team, which included students from the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan, participated in non-competitive, exhibition debates against students at colleges and universities and high schools in Japan.
The American National Debate Team toured Japan representing the National Communication Association's Committee on International Discussion and Debate. The committee promotes an international understanding of the practice of communication through discussion and debates between U.S. students and students from other nations. It began sponsoring international student debate exchanges in 1922, with debaters from Oxford and Cambridge universities and debaters from U.S. universities conducting exhibitions in each other's nations in successive years. The committee expanded the biannual swap to Japan in 1967, and began a series in Eastern European nations in 2000.
Lain has been a UNT faculty member and the director of debate at UNT since August 2002. Under his direction, Debate Team members qualified eight out of 10 years for the National Debate Tournament, which is considered to be the most prestigious tournament in competitive policy debate for U.S. college and university students. UNT students have also qualified each year since 2002 for the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament.
In 2012, the UNT Debate Team:
- Placed among the top 30 teams at the National Debate Tournament
- Placed among the top eight teams at the 2012 Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament
- Won the 2011 National Junior Division Debate Tournament and took second place at that tournament in 2012
Additionally, the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament recognized the UNT Debate Team with its National Public Sphere Award and named two UNT students to its All American Debate Squad.
In 2009, UNT Debate Team member Kuntal Cholera, was named the top speaker at the National Debate Tournament. He was ranked above 155 of the nation's top collegiate debaters who were attending the tournament.
Nancy Kolsti with UNT News Service can be reached at Nancy.Kolsti@unt.edu.