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UNG to host annual 'chicken and egg' debate

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? On Sept. 20-21, the University of North Georgia (UNG) will host an annual tournament that features award-winning college debate teams from across the Southeast trying to settle that age-old question.

Since its revival in 2009, the annual formal debate has grown to include 15 universities. This is UNG's first year to hold the event and turnout is expected to be a record high.

The UNG Debate Team has participated in the tournament previously, and is excited about hosting it this year, said team advisor Dr. Tom Preston, a communications professor.

"We look forward to this tournament each year. Our goal as hosts is to create the very best atmosphere and highest quality competition possible to allow participants and spectators alike to witness debates in a way that enhances their experience at UNG," Preston said. "Having a debate season opener at home allows students who are considering becoming involved in debate competitions a chance to observe both novice and experienced debaters in competition." 

Preston also stressed the practical administrative experience student leaders receive in helping to conduct the tournament.

Notable in-state debaters from Morehouse College, Valdosta State, Georgia Tech, Mercer University, Piedmont College, and Clark Atlanta University will be participating. Morehouse and Valdosta currently hold national championship titles, and Georgia Tech's debate team is the defending state-level champion. UNG's debate team took home two overall championship titles in 2012 at the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament. Oglethorpe University, which started its debate program in spring 2012, will be making its first appearance at the Chicken and Egg Debate.       

Out-of-state schools planning to attend include Clemson University, University of the Cumberlands from Kentucky, and Tennessee's Walters State College and Middle Tennessee State University. Lenoir Rhyne College of North Carolina reinstated its debate program this fall, and its debaters will debut at this event.

The tournament will feature parliamentary debate, sanctioned by the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA), on Friday, and a tournament sanctioned by the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) on Saturday. NPDA sponsors a two-on-two debate format, while IPDA sponsors a Lincoln-Douglass, or one-on-one format. Overall awards will be given to the top schools in each competition, and for the overall competition. In addition, teams advancing to elimination-round debates and top individual speakers will also receive awards.

The public is invited to attend the tournament, which will be held at the Martha T. Nesbitt Academic Building on UNG's Gainesville Campus.  The tournament will take place from noon to 11 p.m. on Sept. 20 and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sept. 21.

For more information about the UNG Debate Team, contact Dr. Tom Preston at

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