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Debate Team

Faculty Advisor

Malcolm McAvoy
HUM 148N

Robert Pratt II
HUM 148B

Walters State’s award-winning debate team offers opportunities for students from all majors, and no prior debate experience is required. The Speaking Senators continue to represent the college at approximately ten tournaments each year, competing primarily against teams from four-year colleges and universities. Having won some of the earliest honors in the history of our college, Walters State Debaters have been demonstrating excellence in intercollegiate competition for almost a half century. Two members of the team captured the Novice State Parliamentary Debate Championship at the 2017 Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association’s State Tournament. Another pair won a National Championship in Novice Parliamentary Debate at the Phi Kappa Delta Comprehensive Tournament in 2006. The team will again compete in that prestigious tournament in 2018. A limited number of work scholarships are available each year for students who participate in debate. There is also a three-hour credit course for any interested student. It’s called SPCH 2030, Argumentation and Debate. For more information about the debate team, interested students may visit practice on any Monday or Wednesday in the Humanities Building from 1 to 3 p.m.  Students on any campus may also contact debate coach Robert E. Pratt, II J.D., M.A at or by calling ext. 6952. Those on the Sevier County Campus may also contact assistant coach Timothy Howell, M.A. at

debate team