Applications open for Regents’ Cup event: Debate competition celebrates free speech; offers scholarship and course credit

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Applications open for Regents’ Cup event: Debate competition celebrates free speech; offers scholarship and course credit

September 2, 2020

Applications are currently open for the Regents’ Cup, a student debate competition celebrating free speech, civil discourse and democratic engagement at Arizona’s public universities. The event is scheduled to take place at Arizona State University April 24, 2021.

Student participants in the Regents’ Cup compete for scholarships and course credit while showcasing the universities’ commitment to freedom of expression on college campuses. The event, open to all students regardless of former debate experience, provides the opportunity for students to compete for a portion of a scholarship purse in an event characterized by respect and civil discourse.

Arizona’s public universities are recognized as champions of free speech; ASU, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona are all recognized with the highest rating by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Approximately $100,000 in scholarships were awarded to winning students in the inaugural 2019 Regents’ Cup. ASU students Valielza O’Keefe and Joshua Pardhe took first place, each winning $16,600 to further their educational goals.

“The Regents’ Cup provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their debate skills while celebrating free speech in an atmosphere of respect for differing opinions. We look forward to another successful event showcasing the debate talents of our student competitors,” said Regent Karrin Taylor Robson who envisioned the competition.

During the all-day competition, student teams will participate in rounds of Oxford and persuasive storytelling debate, sharing true stories from personal experiences.

Debate at public universities is a historic tradition that fosters leadership in students and rewards academic skills of questioning, sound argument and confident speaking. The Regents’ Cup tri-university student debate competition illustrates the commitment of Arizona’s public universities to upholding all students’ rights to freedom of speech.

“The Regents’ Cup competition is an event that epitomizes the ideals of free speech and provides an excellent opportunity for students to earn scholarships. This event is an outstanding example of our commitment to freedom of expression on our campuses,” said ABOR Executive Director John Arnold.

The deadline to apply for the competition that is open to undergraduate and graduate students from ASU, NAU and UArizona is Nov. 1, 2020. For more information and to fill out an application to participate, click here.


Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 |
Julie Newberg, 602-229-2534 |