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Majors & Degrees

DSU to host the 2017 British National Debate Team

October 31, 2017

Dakota State University will host the 2017 British debate team on Sunday, November 5 at 7 p.m. in the Tunheim Classroom Building (TCB) auditorium on the DSU campus.

The topic of the British-style debate is: “Should E-sports be taught in schools?”  The DSU team will speak in support of the belief that e-sports should be taught in schools. Dr. Susan Conover and Michael Lynch, speech instructors at DSU, will serve as moderators and timekeepers for the intercontinental debate.

DSU will be represented by two freshmen computer science majors, William Hamilton-Smith, and Dilyn Tramp, who double-majors in network security. Tramp is from Yankton, S.D., and attended Yankton High School. He participated in debate and went to state all four years of high school. His favorite e-sport is “Overwatch,” with “League of Legends” a close second. Hamilton-Smith is from Okoboji, Iowa, where he attended Okoboji High School. He debated for two of his high school years and went to state in the Student Congress category. His favorite e-sport is “League of Legends.” 

The National Communication Association and the Committee on International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) promotes international understanding and the practice of communication through discussion and debates between students from the United States and other nations. This year, the British team consists of Richard Hunter and Rebecca Howarth.

Hunter grew up in Bangor, Northern Ireland, and began competitively debating at a young age, twice reaching the final of the Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition. He went on to attend the University of St. Andrews, pursuing a degree in modern history. While at university, he participated in dozens of competitions all over the United Kingdom and Europe, competing against students from all over the world. His debating achievements include reaching the final of the Scottish leg of the John Smith Memorial Mace in 2017, as well as acting as an adjudicator at the European University Debating Championships in 2016 and 2017.  

Howarth studied economics and German at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2015. Her key debating achievements include reaching the quarter finals of the European University Debating Championships in Vienna, Austria. Between 2012 and 2015 she won five and qualified for the finals of approximately 14 national and international competitions. She is also an accomplished judge, having been selected as chief adjudicator for approximately six tournaments and judging numerous finals, including the Japanese University Debating Championships. She currently works in management consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she runs a debating initiative designed to improve communication skills in the workplace.

The British duo has been on tour in the U.S. since the middle of September. Their tour schedule has taken them to colleges and universities across the U.S. and will end in Dallas, Texas in mid-November. While at DSU, they will explore the local culture, visit with students and tour the campus.

The debate is free and open to the public and is scheduled for Sunday, November 5 at 7 p.m. in the Tunheim Classroom Building (TCB) auditorium. There will be time set aside for audience members to express their opinions on the scheduled debate topic.