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ASU student at Regents' Cup.

Arizona State University wins fifth-annual 2024 Regents’ Cup

Arizona State University took home the coveted Regents’ Cup trophy during the Arizona Board of Regents’ tri-university speech and debate competition celebrating free speech and civil discourse.

This is ASU's third team win. Ali Nikahd and Alina Bozhko of ASU took first place in the Oxford debate, while Omar Aljubouriy of ASU took first place in storytelling.

First place winners earn a $15,000 one-time scholarship to finance their education, second place $12,000 and third place $5,000. Each remaining student competitor was awarded a $500 one-time scholarship. Students spend several months preparing for the event and earn course credit at their university.

“While our universities may have a spirit of competition, today was a shining example of how we are unified in our commitment to free speech,” said Regent Larry E. Penley, who serves as regent advisor for the event along with Regent Doug Goodyear. “These students have shown us that free speech is about fostering an environment where diverse perspectives can flourish, where dialogue can thrive and where progress can be achieved through the civil exchange of ideas. Congratulations to all of today’s competitors!”

Students competed in multiple rounds of persuasive storytelling and Oxford-style debate during Saturday’s Regents’ Cup hosted by Arizona State University. This year the competition’s theme was centered around democracy, justice and the rule of law. Judges for the event represented a wide range of professions – elected officials, business and community leaders, journalists and educators.

Subjects debated by students during the event included the pros and cons of mandatory retirement ages for federal judges, eliminating the jury system and replacing the electoral college system. The storytelling competition focused on justice in everyday life. 

Arizona’s public universities are exemplars in free speech and are recognized by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression with the highest free speech rating. In addition to this competition, ABOR’s general education policy includes requirements for students to learn critical thinking skills, how America’s founding documents impact the present and the impact of key Supreme Court cases.

Like the Territorial Cup rivalry, the Regents’ Cup trophy is awarded to the winning team to display proudly on their campus until next year’s competition. The 2024 Regents’ Cup winners are:

  • Team winner:
    • ASU
  • Oxford debate:
    • First: Ali Nikahd and Alina Bozhko of ASU
    • Second: Tramanh Dao And Daniel Kyle of ASU
    • Third: Third: Conner Hunting and Andrew Pongratz of the University of Arizona; and the team of James Driscoll and Linus Ros of ASU
  • Storytelling:
    • First: Omar Aljubouriy of ASU 
    • Second: Anusha Rahman of ASU 
    • Third: Isabella Meadows of ASU 

Find all of the competitors here.


Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 |

Megan Gilbertson, 602-229-2529 |