Not Much Debate: The Real National Power at UT?
As the summer is wrapping up, students from all across the country are moving back to Knoxville to begin classes again at the University of Tennessee. The Tennessee Speech and Debate Society (TSDS), the only competitive speech and debate organization on campus, has been gearing up to start another season hopefully on the road to their sixth consecutive National Championship in IPDA style debate. Although it might not get the level of attention of say the football team or the women’s basketball team, it is arguably the most successful squad at UT.
UT’s debate team has a rich history of academic, professional, and competitive debate success along with a tightly knit group of individuals who have become more like family than a team.
“Our team is really good because we have students that are extremely intelligent and unconditionally love debating. You wouldn’t see the success we have without the family dynamic that is always present on trips and in meetings,” says Mickayla Stogsdill, current president and student-coach.
The team has great prospects for success this year returning many of its award winners. Members of the team who won division titles last season include Jesse Parks, Jessica Rice, Clark Hathaway, Symantha Gregorash, Cole Hughes, and Mickayla Stogsdill.
TSDS not only debates at a high level of success, but also engages with the greater Knoxville area in ways that enhance the community. Examples include hosting their own high school debate camp, high school debate tournament, college IPDA debate tournament, provide professional photos for team member development, organize community service activities, host on-campus public forums, and travel across the national to states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Washington, Texas, Louisiana, and more. Keep up with what its members were doing by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.