BHSU Debate Team wins at national competition; continues to enhance regional debate opportunities

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, March 24, 2015/Categories: 2015








           BHSU student Brittany Thompson recently placed in the top 20 at a national debate tournament.   



The Speech and Debate team at Black Hills State University recently returned from a national tournament in Athens, Ohio, with an unexpected trophy.

Brittany Thompson, sophomore political science and psychology major from Spearfish, placed in the top 20 at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament during her first time competing in the individual debate category.

"It was a learning experience for me and to do well at the tournament was just an added bonus," said Thompson. "I wanted to test my abilities and see how well I could do."

During the competition, Thompson debated other college students from across the nation on a range of topics including how the United States should combat radical ideologies, if cell phones and anonymous social media websites are detrimental to society, and how the United Nations should fight the water crisis. For each topic Thompson had 32 minutes to prepare her side of the argument.

"It&rsquos actually a really good experience to be exposed to difficult questions from your opponent after a speech you just gave.  I have to think on my feet to convey my argument in a persuasive, effective way," said Thompson.

After competing on the national stage, the BHSU debate team returns to South Dakota with the goal of improving regional debate options and discussion. BHSU is a founding member of the Black Hills Collegiate Debate Union along with the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and National American University, according to Dr. Ryan Clark, associate professor of communication studies and BHSU&rsquos speech and debate coach.

"We&rsquore working together to increase regional debate opportunities by providing frequent, low-cost debate events for people in the Black Hills region. We've held traditional intercollegiate debate tournaments, as well as hybrid sessions for high school students to try out college debate and open debating for members of the public on key civic issues," said Clark, who also serves as president of the three-campus group.

The group holds open debate sessions every other Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the University Center-Rapid City.

For more information, contact Clark at 605-642-6283 or

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