The West Virginia University Debate Team, housed in the Department of Political Science, is launching a new public debate series where the group will travel the state addressing current hot topics and trends.

The new series’ organizers say that by taking the discussions typically held in collegiate competitions on the road, WVU Debate is poised to be on the forefront of critical conversations amount students, faculty, and the broader public.

“There are so many public issues that resonate with West Virginians – whether that be Greek life, U.S. military presence in the Middle East, China and Africa, or the legalization of marijuana, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to travel the state and engage in such important discussions,” said Samantha Godbey, WVU debate director.

The team plans to host five to six debates around the state, with various topics discussed at each debate. The first event, “Should WVU Eliminate Greek Life?” will be September 10th in the Mountainlair Blue Ballroom on the Downtown campus.

Once the legislative session opens in Charleston next spring, the team will address problems with Common Core standards, the benchmarks adopted to measure what students should know at different points in their school careers. Other debate topics have yet to be announced.

“We’re so excited to debate around the state because we can give back to the people of West Virginia,” Godbey said. “The series will allow us to provide educational opportunities to citizens throughout the state by debating both sides of the issues we are discussing, giving different perspectives and engaging in critical discussions and issues important to West Virginians.”

The WVU Debate Team is a nationally competitive policy debate team. As members of the Cross Examination Debate Association, the team travels across the United States competing against other colleges and universities. WVU was ranked 10th in the country out of 170 colleges and universities who participate in the Cross Examination Debate Association in 2012.

Last year the debate team ranked 3rd in the Northeast Region, and 19th nationally. This year the WVU Debate team will be competitively debating the topic of “Resolved: The United States should significantly reduce its military presence in one or more of the following: the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, the Greater Horn of Africa, and/or Northeast Asia.”

For more information on the WVU Debate team please contact Samantha Godbey at



CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Director of Marketing and Communication, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, West Virginia University, 304-293-6867,

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