Samford University will host high school debaters from six states during the Bishop Guild Debate Tournament Friday and Saturday (FEB. 3 and 4).
More than 100 debaters, including a team from Iowa, will vie for honors in policy debate, Lincoln-Douglas and public forum divisions. Competitors also hail from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Teams from Birmingham area high schools represent Altamont, Gardendale, Homewood, Jefferson County International Baccalaureate, Mountain Brook, Oak Mountain, Thompson (Alabaster) and Vestavia Hills.
The annual tournament honors former Samford debate coach Brad Bishop, who directed Samford teams to three national titles and is now a professor at Samford's Cumberland School of Law.
Specific topics for the divisions are: that the U.S. federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause (policy); that the use of the state's power of eminent domain to promote private enterprise is unjust (Lincoln-Douglas); and that the policy decisions of the current Israeli government toward the Palestinian state have improved prospects for peace in the Middle East (public forum).
Debaters will present the pros and cons of each argument.