BROWNWOOD – December 4, 2015 – Members of Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed in Oxford, England. The Oxford Inter-Varsity Debating Competition, hosted by the world-famous Oxford Union, is one of the largest and most prestigious debating competitions globally, hosting almost 200 teams from universities around the world.
Participating students included Morgan Ashmore, junior from Weatherford; Braxton Clark, sophomore from Southlake; Reagan Grisham, sophomore from Arlington; and Ashley Moon, senior from Waxahachie.
Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, directs the team.
“Students who compete in British Parliamentary debate have eight years of eligibility, so many of the competitors were graduate students, pursuing doctoral degrees, law degrees or other,” she said. “HPU students had the opportunity to debate students of all levels from all over the world.”
HPU competed in six rounds of debate with topics including religion in primary and secondary schools, U.S. immigration policy, penalty enhancements for hate crimes, FIFA World Cup in Russia, and abortion.
In Oxford, the team also visited Christ Church and the Bodleian Library. In London, the team visited the Houses of Parliament and watched a debate in the House of Commons. They also visited Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, The National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum.
“The trip to Oxford to debate with other students from all over the world is such an educational experience,” said Dr. Welker. “Not only do our students compete well, but they gain such a deeper understanding of how the world views Americans and American politics.”
Photo cutline: Members of HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau recently competed in Oxford, England. Left to right: Braxton Clark, Ashley Moon, Reagan Grisham, Morgan Ashmore and Dr. Julie Welker.