University of La Verne to Host Pan American Debating Championship March 10-12

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Hundreds of students from North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean will gather at the University of La Verne on March 10-12 for the 2017 Pan-American Universities Debating Championship.

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“This is the only major tournament in which motions are debated in both languages. For that reason alone, it is among the premiere competitions in the world." - Rob Ruiz, debate team adviser

Hundreds of students from North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean will gather at the University of La Verne on March 10-12 for the 2017 Pan-American Universities Debating Championship.

The competition features three days of British Parliamentary debate in both English and Spanish. Opening ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. on March 10 on campus, 1950 Third St., La Verne.

“This is the only major tournament in which motions are debated in both languages,” said Rob Ruiz, University of La Verne’s Debate Team advisor. “For that reason alone, it is among the premiere competitions in the world. It is also a big warm up for the U.S. Universities Debate Championship in April, so I expect to see world-class debate.”

About 100 teams representing 76 colleges and universities – including Cornell, Yale, University of British Columbia, UCLA, and University of Hawaii – will compete. Spanish-speaking teams from Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, as well as judges from Argentina, will also participate.

Teams in both language divisions will debate the same issues. University of La Verne students are preparing to compete in both divisions, which presents challenges not seen in English-only competitions. Students have been watching tapes from previous competitions to discover language barriers that other debaters encountered in the previous three years.

As in other debate competitions, topics to be debated will not be released until the tournament, but Ruiz expects to see current hot topics affecting the U.S. and other participating countries such as immigration and transgender protection laws. A full schedule of events is available upon request.

About the University of La Verne

Founded in 1891 and located 35 miles east of Los Angeles, the University of La Verne is a private, nonprofit, comprehensive institution founded on four core values: lifelong learning, ethical reasoning, civic and community engagement, and diversity and inclusivity. The University of La Verne serves nearly 8,400 students on the historic La Verne location as well as across 10 Southern California regional campuses.

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