UA Debate Series

The UA Debate Series is dedicated to elevating public discourse through respectful, rhetorically-sound, and competitive – at times voracious – debate.

Student speaking in front of large audience at debate

About Us

Welcome to the University of Arizona's Award-winning Debate Series! The UA Debate Series is a series of public forums dedicated to elevating our national discourse. Each semester, campus faculty, public officials, community leaders, and students engage in a series of Oxford-style debates on matters of public interest. Members of the University and greater Tucson community are welcome to attend our forums, ask pointed questions, and vote on the winners!

The UA Debate Series proudly boasts a robust faculty-student collaboration, with a staff of dedicated student interns in the areas of education, outreach, research, finance, promotion, and events planning. Interns travel free of cost around the country to compete in national tournaments, and serve the Tucson community through our after school program for at-risk youth.

Apply for Internship

Mission statement

The UA Debate Series is envisioned to engage Arizona's public university students in civil discourse. We honor participants for articulating dramatically different points of view in an environment where combatants can remain friends. It should be our goal to graduate well-educated human beings capable of resolving differences that exist in a democracy in an environment of civil discourse rather than force. Our campuses should provide an opportunity for people to say foolish things in a process that safely allows for change, growth, and correction. It is through such a process that one will come to say smarter things – which of course is the process we call education.

The Regents' Cup

February 25th, 2023 - The Regents' Cup is a state-wide tournament among Arizona's three sister schools: University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University. Each academic year, students compete in a day-long public forum engaging in civilized discourse. Participants receive scholarship funds, and finalists will receive large scholarship stipends. The school with the highest point tally will take home the annual Regents' Cup Trophy.

Contact Ted McLoof or Diana Leonard for any questions.

Apply now

UA Debate Series Topics

All podcasts are livestreamed on Facebook Live at 7:00pm.

Sept. 20th

College Tuition & Debt Relief

Oct. 18th

Critical Race Theory in the History Classroom

Nov. 15th

Book Banning



Featured Debates

Watch Past Debates

University Debate- Topic: Free College

Our experienced interns take on the affirmative and negative of the resolution: College Should Not be Free.



University Debate- Topic: Prisons Are Failing

In this double-header debate, interns debate the state of America's prison system, including for-profit prisons, overcrowding, and the prison industrial complex.

The Inaugural Regents' Cup Final | The University of Arizona and The Board of Regents Cup

On November 16th, 2019, we hosted Arizona State and Northern Arizona University for a day-long competition, judged by state legislators. The final round was between University of Arizona and Arizona State, debating the resolution: Controversial Speakers Should be Banned from Campus.

University Debate- Topic: Presidential Debate

Speakers in this debate take on the personas of primary candidates, arguing the topics of health care, foreign policy, the environment, and the economy. Audience members registered to vote on-site after the event.