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A high-level, British parliamentary debate can be experienced by the East Central University and Ada communities on Sunday, Oct. 5 as the 2014 British National Debate Team makes an appearance on campus.

The ECU Tiger Speech and Debate team is hosting the British parliamentary debate at 6 p.m. in the ECU Foundation Hall of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center. The event is free and open to the public. Before the event, the British National and ECU debate teams will host a workshop from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The British National Debate Team is a two-person combination of Kate Brooks and Alice Coombes Huntley. Both are exceptional debaters, each with their own litany of accomplishments.

Brooks is a postgraduate student reading for the DPhil in International Relations at the University of Oxford. She also works as a consultant researcher for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. She is head of competitive debating at the Oxford Union and a successful competitive debater, having won the Oxford Women’s Open 2013 and Moscow Open in 2012.

Coombes Huntley recently graduated from the University of Bristol with a first-class degree in English Literature. As a debater, she won three national competitions and reached the finals of countless others. She has also judged at many school and university competitions, most notably as co-chief adjudicator of the ESU John Smith Memorial Mace, commonly known as the English National Championships.

The team is sponsored by the Committee for International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) and the National Communication Association (NCA). Included in the CIDD’s objectives are broadening the scope of international educational and cultural exchanges by providing a channel for the exchange of ideas among students and young people in America and throughout the world and reinforcing the importance of dialogue as a preferred means for resolving international and intercultural differences.

While touring the United States, the British National Debate Team will be visiting Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Cornell University, George Washington University, the University of North Texas and many more.

“We are thrilled to host this team,” said Donna Graves, ECU instructor of communication and performance studies and director of the Tiger Speech and Debate Team. “We hope that as a team we will be able to experience a style unfamiliar to us, as well as share the opportunity with the community and other debate teams in local high schools.”

The ECU Cultural Activities Committee and Tiger Speech and Debate are providing the funding for this event. For questions or more information on the event, contact Graves at or by calling 580-559-5503.

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