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British debate team to visit Cumberlands


Alex Just (left) and Alistair Cormack (right) are currently touring the United States and will stop in Williamsburg to debate the UC team.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – The national champion University of the Cumberlands debate team will host and debate the English-Speaking Union’s British debate team at 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 3 on the resolution “This house believes that the U.S. would be better if it looked more like the U.K.” The debate will take place in Room 106 of the Hutton School of Business on campus. Refreshments will be provided afterwards.

The annual U.K.-U.S. exchange that has been running since 1922 is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious universities debating tour. Each year the ESU sends two U.K. debaters to the U.S. between September and November to visit colleges and universities across the country. This tour is the premier opportunity for British debaters to practice their craft and the list of alumni boasts a former British Prime Minister, an Archbishop of Canterbury, many senior politicians, journalists and businessmen.

This year’s British debaters are Alex Just and Alistair Cormack. Just, of Edinburgh, Scotland, is a senior at the University of Oxford studying history and politics. He has coached debate in Australia, France, Qatar and the USA. Most recently, Alex coached the Scottish national debating team who won the 2007 World Championships in South Korea.

Cormack, of London, England, recently graduated from the University of Durham with an honors degree in history and politics. He has won several British intervarsities, was ranked in the top ten European speakers of 2006 and is also a finalist at the English National Championships. This is Cormack’s second ESU tour- in 2006 he was part of the tour of Japan.

The University of the Cumberlands speech and debate team has won over eight national champions in the past four years. The team won the National Christian College Championship in novice debate in 2006, and won the junior varsity national championship at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament in 2007. As of this week, the team is ranked second in the southeast United States in the National Parliamentary Debate Association’s year long sweepstakes records, and in the top eight percent of the over four hundred colleges and universities that compete in parliamentary debate. This ranking currently places the university ahead of many other larger schools, including UCLA, Notre Dame, Purdue, Wisconsin, Louisiana State University, Texas A&M, Washington, and Oklahoma.

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is a private liberal arts college in its 118th year of operation. Cumberlands offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and nine pre-professional programs, graduate degrees and certifications in education as well as online programs.