The University of Utah took top honors earlier this month at the Las Vegas Debates intercollegiate tournament sponsored by UNLV's forensics program and the Greenspun School of Communication.
Placing second behind Utah in the sweepstakes awards for overall performance was the University of Texas, Austin. Sharing third-place honors were the University of Southern California and Trinity University from San Antonio.
Fifty teams representing 23 schools from across the nation participated in the event, which took place Oct. 7-9.
Students involved in the competition examined the issue of whether the United States government should substantially increase its security assistance to one or more of the following: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestinian National Authority, Syria. This topic will be debated by college debaters throughout the 1995-1996 debate season.
The UNLV tournament, now in its fourth year, has drawn some of the finest programs from around the country, according to tournament director, Dr. Barbara Pickering.
"Las Vegas is an appealing location where debaters and coaches can enjoy great weather, the sites of the city, and a very competitive tournament, all in one location," Pickering said. "Each year we have added new schools to our list of competitors, and the returning schools seem very excited about coming back to Las Vegas again."
This year, the UNLV program decided to rename the tournament for future years in honor of Las Vegas Sun founder Hank Greenspun, for whom the Greenspun School of Communication is named.
In announcing the name change to the "Hank Greenspun Invitational Debate Tournament," Pickering said, "Hank Greenspun's commitment to public activism and free speech are a perfect match with the goals of debate and forensics activities. Our programs seek to educate students about contemporary political issues and provide them with public speaking skills essential for participation in the public arena."
In addition to the sweepstakes prizes, awards were given to the teams participating in elimination rounds of competition. First place in the senior division was won by Drew France and Hajir Ardebili from the University of Kansas. The first-place team in the junior division competition was Pat Tapia and James Phelps from the University of Southern California.
UNLV students will continue their competitive season this month, participating in the Aztec Invitational at San Diego State University and a tournament at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.