UK Debaters Bring the Heat to West Texas 


(left to right) Kaleigh Rodarte-Suto, Dan Scanio, Niamh Thompson, and Tearaneé Lockhart.


Dr. Trudy Hanson


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CANYON, Texas—Four debaters took the stage recently to argue a challenging topic in front of hundreds of students at West Texas A&M University.

The WTAMU Department of Communication and Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honor society, hosted this debate featuring two debaters from the English Speaking Union (ESU), Niamh Thompson and Dan Scanio, and two debaters from the WT Forensics Team, Kaleigh Rodarte-Suto and Tearaneé Lockhart. 

Each team included one debater from the UK and one from WT focusing on the resolution “This house believes that the International Olympic Committee should separate Olympic categories by height, weight and muscle mass rather than sex.” One team defended the resolution while the other argued against the resolution.

Because of the parliamentary style of the debate, the audience participated more than they would for a typical lecture. Upon entering, guests were told to sit on either side of the aisle indicating whether they were for or against the resolution. The audience members moved any time they wanted to indicate a shift in their support during the debate. They also shouted “Hear, Hear,” to show support or “For Shame!” when they disagreed.

About the WTAMU Department of Communication 

The Department of Communication has two undergraduate programs, media communication and communication studies as well as a master’s program in communication. For more information, please visit