University of Arizona wins 2022 Regents’ Cup

University of Arizona wins 2022 Regents’ Cup

May 2, 2022

The University of Arizona is taking home the 2022 Regents’ Cup in the Arizona Board of Regents’ debate and speech competition celebrating free speech and civil discourse. Students from Arizona’s public universities took part in spirited debate and speech events centered around the theme of this year’s competition - the importance of the preservation of democracy.

Claire Mullings and Chase DiBona of Arizona State University took first place in the Oxford debate portion of the Regents’ Cup competition while Celeste Lugo of the University of Arizona took first place in storytelling, each winning $15,000 in a one-time scholarship to finance their education.

Second place in Oxford was awarded to Finley Dutton-Reid and Tissiana Vallecillo of the University of Arizona while Raychel Hodges of the University of Arizona took second in storytelling, all winning a one-time $12,000 scholarship.

Tied for third place in the Oxford competition were University of Arizona students Josh Tashoff and Akash Satpathy, and Abigail Spencer and Jordan Morris of Arizona State University. Student competitors also tied for third place in storytelling - Gennie Obaid and Alicia Hall, both of the University of Arizona. Each third-place winner will be awarded a $5,000 one-time scholarship.

Students competed during the day-long Regents’ Cup hosted by Northern Arizona University, during an event celebrating civil discourse and free speech at Arizona’s public universities. Each of the remaining student competitors took home a $500 one-time scholarship.

“The Regents’ Cup showcases our universities’ commitment to civil discourse and free speech. Our student competitors are skilled orators, who provided sound arguments and speeches on the importance of preserving democracy in our country,” said Regent Larry E. Penley, who served as advisor to the event this year. “I extend my thanks to NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera, student competitors, coaches, judges, sponsors, staff and moderators who helped to make this event a spectacular success.”

Arizona’s public universities are recognized as exemplars in free speech; Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona are all recognized with a green light rating, the highest rating by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. With a commitment to free speech and graduating knowledgeable citizens, the board adopted a general education policy and has worked closely with the three public universities on general education revisions, including requirements for students to learn how America’s founding documents impact the present, the impact of key Supreme Court cases and economics knowledge.

During the competition, student teams participated in rounds of persuasive storytelling and Oxford-style debate. Judges for the event included policymakers, legislators, judges and educators.

Students debated subjects such as: if democracies should prioritize the expansion of democratic values worldwide; if unregulated social media is a threat to institutions that uphold democracy; and if unlimited spending on political speech is a threat to democracy. Persuasive storytelling events centered on “how democracy has influenced my life.”

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