UArizona Wins Regents’ Cup, Gov. Katie Hobbs Provides Keynote Address

The University of Arizona is the winner of the 2023 Regents’ Cup, the Arizona Board of Regents’ debate and speech competition celebrating free speech and civil discourse. Students from Arizona’s public universities took part in rigorous debate and speech events centered around the theme of this year’s competition – liberty, prosperity and the Constitution.

Dhruv Dalmia and Zenobia Chevalier-Mossman of Arizona State University took first place in the Oxford debate portion of the Regents’ Cup competition while William Forte of UArizona took first place in storytelling, each winning $15,000 in a one-time scholarship to finance their education.

Taking second place in the Oxford competition was Hunter Larson and Sage Kaminski of Northern Arizona University while Alicia Hall of UArizona took second in storytelling, all winning a one-time $12,000 scholarship.

Third place in the Oxford competition went to Chase DiBona and Linus Ros of Arizona State University; and the team of Misty Knight and Jake Soulvie of UArizona. In the storytelling competition, Amy Gaudet and Ciara Tetreault, both of UArizona, took third place. Third-place winners will be awarded a $5,000 one-time scholarship.

Students competed during the day-long Regents’ Cup hosted by the University of Arizona, during an event characterized by respect and civil discourse. Each remaining student competitor took home a $500 one-time scholarship.

This year, Gov. Katie Hobbs provided remarks during the keynote address. Gov. Hobbs paid tribute to the students participating in the Regents’ Cup and the importance of having candid discussions and finding common ground on issues facing our state.

“Our students demonstrated considerable skill in public speaking and robust debate during events that celebrated our nation’s founding principles,” said Regent Larry E. Penley, who served as advisor to the event this year. “I appreciate University of Arizona President Robert Robbins for hosting this year’s competition and thank our student competitors, coaches, judges, sponsors, staff and moderators. All of these individuals contributed to another successful Regents’ Cup.”

Arizona’s public universities are recognized as exemplars in free speech; Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona are all recognized with a green light rating, the highest rating by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. With a commitment to free speech and graduating knowledgeable citizens, the board’s general education policy includes requirements for students to learn how America’s founding documents impact the present, the impact of key Supreme Court cases and economics knowledge.

“The Regents’ Cup is a shining example of the best of our democracy. Our students always inspire as they share stories from personal experiences during storytelling events and engage in spirited debate characterized by civil discourse. I’m proud of all of our students and appreciate the many weeks of practice that went into preparing for the tournament,” said ABOR Chair Lyndel Manson.

During the competition, student teams participated in rounds of persuasive storytelling and Oxford-style debate. Judges for the event included policymakers, legislators, community leaders and educators.

Students debated subjects such as: if the federal government should implement a Fairness Doctrine; if pursuit of liberty should take precedence over pursuit of prosperity; and if a term limit should be added to U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Storytelling events focused on how the Constitution affects liberty and prosperity.

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