British National Debate Team Returns to Southern Miss Oct. 18

The British National Debate Team will return to The University of Southern Mississippi to take on the USM Speech and Debate Team in a friendly contest Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center, Ballroom 1. The event is open to the public.

As one of the most anticipated events of the year at Southern Miss, this is the fifth consecutive year two students from Great Britain have traveled to the United States to compete in debates against various collegiate teams across the country. Southern Miss is the only university in the state and one of a few in the southeast United States to host the British college students.

“We are very excited to take on the British National team again,” Dr. Paul Strait said. Strait is the director of the USM Speech and Debate Team and an assistant professor in the Department of Communications Studies.

“This year, the debate should be especially interesting, and timely, because it immediately follows criminal justice expert Bryan Stevenson’s University Forum talk on ‘American Injustice.’ I can’t imagine a better prelude to a debate about capital punishment and hope those attending the Forum event, hosted by Honors College, will take the short walk from Bennett Auditorium after the talk to Thad Cochran Center to join us for the debate. By the end of the evening, the audience will be both highly informed with new perspective.”

This year’s topic, “Resolved: This House would abolish capital punishment,” will be debated by participants. Golden Eagles Lakelyn Taylor, a senior from Long Beach, Miss. and Ryan Cone, a senior from Oak Grove, Miss. will debate David Jones and James Baross of the United Kingdom. There will be real-time voting and results from the audience throughout, and at the end of the debate. Guests are encouraged to bring their mobile device and help determine the winner of the debate.

The debate is sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies in the College of Arts and Letters. For more information about the Southern Miss Speech and Debate Team, visit


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