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Area Students Looking To Perfect Art Of Debating

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Dozens of young debaters squared off against one another over the past two days at the University of Tulsa. Dozens of young debaters squared off against one another over the past two days at the University of Tulsa.
Called the TU Tilt, the event was organized by the college's debate team, and was aimed at encouraging local high school students to participate in debate. Called the TU Tilt, the event was organized by the college's debate team, and was aimed at encouraging local high school students to participate in debate.
On Saturday, the top 15 kids, as selected by the judges, went head to head. On Saturday, the top 15 kids, as selected by the judges, went head to head.

Debate is back at TU.  The school has a new debate team, and it organized an event to showcase the skills of local high school debaters.  Dozens of them did their best to impress the judges during a two day long competition on campus.  The News On 6's Chris Wright reports the event called the ‘TU Tilt,' was extremely competitive.  It was put together to encourage kids to participate in debate, and to show that the sport is on the rise at TU.

"It's kind of like thrilling.  It's a rush of adrenaline to be up there. It's exciting to research your case, and to find out different things. You learn a lot of things," said Elli Rao.

Until recently, the age-old art of debate had died out at TU.  The team was resurrected last year with the help of faculty advisor Dr. Daniel Crunkleton.  He says 20 TU students now participate on the school's squad.

"People have an idea that debate is just learning how to argue.  That's not really it, that's not the point," said Dr. Crunkleton.

Crunkleton says debate is more about learning how to research, how to organize your thoughts, and how to prepare a logical argument.  Skills he says that make students more successful.

"It's a way to actually practice what you study in class.  Different classes, philosophy, history, critical thinking and reasoning," said Dr. Crunkleton.

He hopes the high school students like Rao will stick with debate, and keep arguing well into their college years. 

"I really like debating and I'm pretty sure that I'll continue with it the rest of high school, so it's been a pretty good experience," said Rao.

Students from a dozen Green Country schools participated in the inaugural TU Tilt.

Organizers hope even more schools, and more debaters, will take part next year.

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