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Speech & Debate
Contact Info

Speech & Debate Director:
Jana Riggins

Email:
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Department Phone:
512-471-5883

Department Fax:
512-232-1499

State Champions

Invitational B Topics

Informative Speaking Prelims

1. Who is Christopher Steele and how is he linked to the Russia investigation?
2. Why is Kenya’s once-praised democracy now in crisis?
3. Immigration reform: What issues cause disagreement between Democrats and Republicans?
4. What are the more pressing challenges facing Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy?
5. Who are the likely challengers to Greg Abbott in the 2018 Texas gubernatorial race?
6. Why does infrastructure in the United States need to be addressed through congressional legislation?
7. How is SpaceX making its mark on space travel and exploration?
8. Why have Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase joined forces?
9. What challenges are the Kurdish Iraqis facing?
10. What did the U.S. Education Department reveal about special education programs in Texas public schools?
11. What changes are likely in the U.S. foreign policy toward Pakistan?
12. What are the ethical concerns of recent development in Artificial Intelligence?
13. What is the current state of diplomatic relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia?
14. Why has there been volatility in the stock market recently?
15. What factors have contributed to the prolonged election process in Honduras?
16. What did the FCC investigation reveal about Hawaii’s recent false missile alert?
17. Why are China’s leaders considering changes in their nation’s international trade policy?
18. What is the latest information on the influenza outbreak?
19. What is Turkey’s current role in the Syrian civil conflict?
20. The media business: How are publishers diversifying to survive?

Informative Speaking Finals

1. What are the details of the recently-passed GOP tax bill?
2. Why is friction between Saudi Arabia and Iran deepening?
3. How far-reaching has the USA gymnastics abuse scandal been?
4. What measures can the United Nations Security Council take to get North Korea to change its position on its nuclear program?
5. What is the fallout when a US federal government shutdown occurs?
6. Who are Mexico’s leading 2018 presidential contenders?
7. How are celebrities utilizing the social media black market?
8. What events prompted Australia to ban foreign political contributions?
9. How do students in U.S. public schools compare academically to students in other industrial nations?
10. Why has Afghanistan become a recent target for violent acts of terrorism?
11. What can the federal government do to protect the public from the more dangerous aspects of the cryptocurrency market?
12. What factors motivated Ethiopia’s leaders to release political prisoners and close detention centers?
13. How has Texas agriculture been affected by this year’s harsh winter conditions?
14. Who is the leading foreign policy advisor in the Trump administration?
15. Net Neutrality: In light of the FCC’s decision, what steps can industry take to reassure the public of continued access to the resources of the Internet?
16. The Kuril Islands: What steps can Japan take to bring about a satisfactory resolution of its territorial dispute with Russia?
17. Who are the top Democratic presidential candidates for 2020?
18. What is the significance of the recent elections in Catalonia on the future relationship between Spain and the separatist province?
19. Where does EPA head Scott Pruitt stand on the issue of global warming?
20. As British prime minister, what political challenges are confronting Theresa May?

Persuasive Speaking Prelims

1. Is California doing enough to address the annual wildfires and mudslides in its state?
2. Does the Paris Climate Accord still have teeth?
3. Should President Trump be credited with improving the U.S. economy?
4. Is former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s political career over?
5. USA Women’s Gymnastics: Are we seeing the end to a dynasty?
6. Are voter rights being eroded in the United States today?
7. What must Nepal’s new government do to satisfy the competing interests of its large neighbors, China and India?
8. Will the #MeToo movement bring about enduring change?
9. What will be the fate of South African President Jacob Zuma?
10. Does the U.S. Education Department usurp state and local authority in key policy areas?
11. Is the United States taking the lead in promoting protection of Antarctica?
12. Has Beto O’Rourke emerged as a leading member of the Texas Democratic Party?
13. Is the U.S. responsible for the breakdown in relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority?
14. Should the United Nations impose an international ban on all ivory trade?
15. Do increased violent terrorist attacks warrant a more substantial U.S. military presence in Afghanistan?
16. Is deregulating America’s land resources and oceans a good thing?
17. Will renewed conversations between North and South Korea ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula?
18. Is Venezuela on the verge of a major civil conflict?
19. Is Puerto Rico receiving enough aid in its hurricane recovery efforts?
20. Are austerity programs proving to be the answer to Greece’s economic woes?

Persuasive Speaking Finals

1. Can the President and Congress come to an agreement on DACA?
2. Is Emmanuel Macron replacing Angela Merkel as Europe’s most influential leader?
3. Is President Trump undermining the work of the State Department?
4. Should leading environmental groups be concerned about India’s level of greenhouse gas emissions?
5. Does gerrymandering undermine the voice of U.S. voters?
6. Was the cost of liberating Iraq from ISIS too great?
7. Are e-cigarettes a safe alternative to smoking tobacco?
8. Was Peru’s former president, Alberto Fujimori, deserving of a pardon?
9. Have Betsy DeVos’ policies in the Department of Education been good for America’s historically black colleges and universities?
10. Will increased reliance on robotics ultimately lead to human thought control?
11. Should the United States increase its diplomatic engagement with South American nations?
12. Is climate change one of the causes of harsh weather in the United States?
13. Will the crypto currency bubble burst in the near future?
14. Are military forces in Ivory Coast falling victim to mutiny?
15. Is the Texas Juvenile Criminal Justice Department facing a potential crisis?
16. Does the United States have favorable diplomatic relations with Russia?
17. Will Congress pass significant gun control legislation any time soon?
18. Should the age of criminal majority be consistent in all states?
19. Is former presidential candidate Mitt Romney contemplating a return to politics?
20. Does Turkey play a pivotal role in promoting Middle East stability?