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CAS Debate Team Outperforms Competition

By Amanda Morad | December 17, 2013

CAS debate team members defend their arguments at regionals.
Photo via Facebook

Next month, at least two Regent University College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) students will trek to Arizona to compete among the top collegiate Moot Court teams in the nation.

Junior Ariel Hensius and sophomore Abigail Lisa were among seven Regent teams at the regional tournament in November, one of nine qualifying tournaments for the American College Moot Court Association national competition. Approximately 30 teams competed at the tournament from schools across the region, including the University of Virginia and Patrick Henry College.

Four of the Regent teams did well enough in the preliminary rounds to qualify for the out-rounds of 16, and two teams qualified for the round of eight. All four teams that competed in the out-rounds won team awards and two students, senior Ryan Keller and junior Dominique Robinson, won individual speaker awards. In addition to Hensius and Lisa, two other Regent pairings are eligible to win a wild card slot at nationals.

"Moot Court teams simulate arguments in front of the Supreme Court," said faculty advisor and CAS assistant professor Dr. Caleb Verbois. "Typically there are two main constitutional issues and each member of the team has to be an expert on one of them. The undergraduate tournaments are very similar to what law students do in Moot Court, and are excellent practice for those events."

Many CAS graduates continue to hone their debate skills in law school, Verbois said.

The Regent Undergraduate Debate Association (RUDA) competed in Moot Court for the first time two years ago. In their first year, just two teams competed at the regional level and one qualified for nationals. In their second year, two of RUDA's six teams advanced to nationals with one team breaking into the Sweet 16 round.

Learn more about RUDA.

Learn more about the College of Arts & Sciences.


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