Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2006-01-31

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.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.