Regis debaters are heading to Dublin, Ireland, for international tournament

December 13, 2017

The Regis University debate team returned from a recent national tournament in Seattle with several top honors. Seniors Allison Foust and David Cecil-Few took second place overall in the competition at Seattle University that was attended by 68 teams. Junior Andy Nguyen and sophomore Sally Andarge won their quarterfinals round, and freshmen Nicholas Aranda and Thomas Jones made it as far as the novice finals – an honorable career start.

The Regis debate team finished well in individual assessments (derived during team competitions): Cecil-Few finished fifth overall out of 136 debaters and Foust finished 11th. Other great finishes: Nguyen, 16th; Andarge, 20th; senior Siena Ruggeri, 35th; and sophomore Catie Cheshire, 51st. Aranda finished 2nd in the novice speaker category, while Jones took 6th.

Regis debaters participate in the British Parliamentary style. In each round, two teams argue an affirmative position against two teams arguing its opposite or the negative position – eight debaters each present a seven-minute speech. Tournaments often have six to eight rounds, and participants receive their debate topics just 15 minutes before a round begins.

“I’m proud of everyone on our team. They prepared very hard for this tournament and did well as a result,” said Jon Denzler, the debate director and a communications instructor at Regis. “The team is grateful for the support we get from the University community. Students take what they learn in their classes to debate with some of the top programs in the country. I’m looking forward to seeing what else this group can accomplish.”

Regis debate team members are heading to Dublin, Ireland, in late January for the Trinity Invitational, an international competition by invitation-only attended by dozens of teams (last year 78 teams attended the revered competition).

Members also plan to attend the Loyola Chicago Invitational in late February and the National Championship in April. They are looking at other regional and national tournaments in 2018.

Regis, which has supported a debate team for many years (dating back to the 1990s), regularly is invited to top national and international competitions, with debate team members traditionally placing well. Denzler, a Regis debater and 2013 graduate, has been the Regis debate coach since 2016.

Established in 1877, Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. Regis University, one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, has four campus locations in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs and extensive online program offerings with more than 11,000 enrolled students. For more information, visit

Photo caption: Front row (left to right): Allison Foust, Nicolas Aranda, Thomas Jones, Andy Nguyen and Sally Andarge. Back row: David Cecil-Few, Catie Cheshire, Siena Ruggeri and debate Coach Jon Denzler (R’13).