UT Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications

UT Tyler Debate Team Finishes Year Strong, Remains First in Nation

November 28, 2011

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

op debaters Smith (in front) and Warren (in background) Top debaters Smith (in front) and Warren (in background and below).

The University of Texas at Tyler debate team continues to remain the top team in national rankings after winning their final tournament for the fall 2011 semester, Dr. Martin Slann, College of Arts and Sciences dean, announced.

Senior economics major Alex Warren of Tyler and senior communications and political science double major Travis Smith of Palestine placed first in the three-day tournament at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., where they beat teams from schools including McKendree University, Texas Tech University, Pepperdine University, University of Oklahoma, Whitman College and Loyola University.


This is Warren and Smith’s third final round appearance and top finish.

“Alex and Travis make up one of the top teams in the country, and their success proves it,” said Dr. Charles Walts, UT Tyler director of forensics.

The team’s ranking is determined by a points system that currently ranks more than 300 teams in the country competing in the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.


“Because there are no conferences or divisions in debate, we have to be ready to debate anyone. It can be a massive undertaking to gather intelligence and prepare for 300 different teams,” Walts added.

The UT Tyler team will begin its spring campaign in early January when they travel to Salt Lake City, Utah and Bellingham, Wash. for two of the largest tournaments of the year.

“We are seniors this year, so there are no second chances. For us, this is it. It’s time to go big, or go home,” said Smith.

The university’s debate program competes in both NPTE and the National Parliamentary Debate Association.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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 Last Published 11/28/11