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Speech & Debate
Contact Info

Speech & Debate Director:
Jana Riggins

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Department Phone:
512-471-5883

Department Fax:
512-232-1499

State Champions

District I Extemp Topics

Informative Speaking Prelims

1.      What are the objectives of the March for our Lives movement?

2.      What regions of Africa are currently under the higher levels of French influence?

3.      Why have there been so many top aide departures from the Trump White House staff?

4.      Why does Myanmar continue to experience violence associated with ethnic and religious divisions?

5.      What are the major issues currently dividing Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill?

6.      What are the latest developments regarding the Catalonian independence movement in Spain?

7.      What are the fundamental facets of President Trump’s “America First” trade policy?

8.      Why is Honduras President Juan Hernandez facing questions regarding political legitimacy?

9.      Why is the U.S. Education Department taking exception to Texas special education programs?

10.    What is the general state of relations between Iran and Israel?

11.    Why did the University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning fail?

12.    Why is China increasing its investments in African nations?

13.    How does the FCC’s decision on Net Neutrality affect the consumer?

14.    What is the current state of UK/Russian relations?

15.    What compromises will DACA supporters need to get a bill through Congress?

16.    Why has Indonesia’s anti-drug campaign drawn criticism from human rights organizations?

17.    What can the U.S. public health establishment do to better protect against the influenza threat?

18.    What strategies are Texas Democratic Party leaders taking to gain voter support in statewide elections?

19.    What changes in the laws have occurred because of school shootings in America?

20.    Why is Jacob Zuma no longer in office in South Africa?

Informative Speaking Finals

       1.      What are the cultural and social attributes of Texas colonias communities?

       2.      What can Iran’s government do to address grievances expressed in recent public protests?

       3.      Why is President Trump proposing tariffs as a trade mechanism for the United States?

4.       What has Enrique Peña Nieto accomplished as Mexico’s president?

5.       Why is the Justice Department’s lawsuit against California over sanctuary laws significant?

6.       How has the Winter Olympics changed the politics on the Korean Peninsula?

7.       What are the latest legal charges filed against Paul Manafort?

8.       What are China’s latest accomplishments in terms of space exploration?

9.       What issues are being raised in the ongoing gun-control debate?

10.     What is the political significance of Italy’s Five Star Movement?

11.     Why was the spotlight on International Women’s Day even greater than usual in 2018?

12.     How do 2018 weather patterns compare to those of previous years?

13.     What is the official U.S. policy regarding the ongoing Syrian crisis?

14.     Why is the SEC investigating companies engaged in cryptocurrency exchanges?

15.     What have investigators learned about South Africa’s deadly listeria outbreak?

16.     What factors ultimately led to passage of the 2018 budget package by Congress?

17.     Why are there demands for Benjamin Netanyahu to resign as Prime Minister of Israel?

18.     What issues prompted the West Virginia teachers’ strike?

19.     Why are questions being raised about possible flaws in the government’s EB-1 visa program?

20.     How will departure from the European Union affect Britain’s international trade position?

Persuasive Speaking Prelims

1.        Are relations warming between North and South Korea?

2.         Is Jared Kushner witnessing a decline of his influence on White House decision-making?

3.         Have diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Mexico deteriorated since Donald Trump became president?

4.         Was justice served in the penalty phase of Larry Nassar’s trials?

5.         Is Libya currently being victimized by political anarchy?

6.         Will Bernie Sanders make another run for the presidency in 2020?

7.         Is China’s communist party in a state of transition under the leadership of Xi Jinping?

8.         Should a minimum age be set for the purchase of firearms?

9.         Has Russia’s military become technologically superior?

10.       Is freedom of expression in jeopardy on major U.S. college campuses?

11.       Is Iraq facing a major infrastructure crisis?

12.       Is SpaceX making major contributions to development of enhanced satellite technology?

13.       Is Defense Secretary Mattis warranted in his call for increased defense spending by European nations?

14.       Has the U.S. government failed in dealing with opioid addiction?

15.       Is Congress likely to pass infrastructure legislation in the near future?

16.      Are frequent users of popular social media platforms unknowingly forfeiting their privacy rights?

17.       Is President Mauricio Macri attempting to dismantle economic populism in Argentina?

18.       Can Oprah Winfrey make a difference for Democrats campaigning in 2018?

19.       Are legal problems threatening to end the political career of Texas Senator Carlos Uresti?

20.       Is political autonomy in Northern Ireland nearing an end?

Persuasive Speaking Finals

1.        Is the power of the National Rifle Association lobby decreasing?

2.         In the age of streaming services, what must broadcast television do to seem relevant?

3.         Is it unethical for voters to cross party lines in Texas primary elections?

4.         Is Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric regarding Russian missile strength alarming to U.S. military planners?

5.         Are supporters of President Trump remaining loyal?

6.         Is Islamic insurgency threatening stability in the Philippines?

7.         Does the FBI have a lingering credibility problem?

8.         Are benefits of the use of Artificial Intelligence worth the potential risks?

9.         Should the U.S. Education Department increase its nationwide commitment to public school safety?

10.       Have Brazil’s leaders abandoned efforts to rid their nation of political corruption?

11.       Is Sri Lanka on the road to becoming a model for political stability in Asia?

12.       Will “clean-coal” technology help the struggling industry recover?

13.       Have federal regulators adequately addressed Wells Fargo’s misconduct allegations?

14.       Would a trade war result in long-term U.S. economic harm?

15.       Can Cyril Ramaphosa restore confidence in South Africa’s government?

16.       Is Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin currently embroiled in scandal?

17.       Does Turkey appear to be distancing itself diplomatically from European neighbors?

18.       Have Texas schools recovered following hurricane Harvey?

19.       Are Middle East nations on the verge of a nuclear arms race?

20.       What must government do to improve access to mental health care in the United States?