First Texan Debate to provide first-year students with valuable civic experience


STEPHENVILLE (April 11, 2017) — The first-ever Texan Debate on Monday will provide a valuable civic experience for first-year Tarleton State University students as they explore the topic of gun control.

The event aims to teach communications students how to discuss and analyze controversial topics in an organized, civil manner, according to Dr. Del Richey, director of the program and debate instructor.

Opening at 11 a.m. at the outdoor amphitheater near the Humanities Building, the Texan Debate kicks off with a civic expo for students to display their positions on issues related to gun control.

A series of three hour-long, moderated debate sessions begins at 1 p.m. in lecture halls in the O.A. Grant Humanities Building. The finale is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Auditorium, highlighting the program’s first parliamentary debate.

“We are very excited to begin this new initiative with the Texan Debate,” said Kelli Styron, Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, which is hosting the event. “This endeavor is new for our university but it encompasses some tried and true student retention pieces, which we believe will give our students valuable experiences while still in their first year at the University.”

The event, modeled after the University of California – Chico’s Great Debate, is designed to showcase students from the Department of Communication Studies.

“Our intention is to use these high impact experiences to guide students into additional civic responsibility and civic engagement practices, which will translate not only into positive outcomes in their sophomore through senior years but also give them a skill set, which they will carry with them as lifelong learners,” Styron said.

Parking is available in the Fine Arts lot on campus.

To connect with others before, during and after the event, use #TheTexanDebate on Twitter or access the Texan Debate Facebook page –

For more information, contact Richey at 254-968-9380 or at [email protected].

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