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Christian Lundberg (photo by Isaac Sandlin)
Christian Lundberg (photo by Isaac Sandlin)

Editor’s note: UNC finished in a tie for first place in the coastal division in the debate.

The University of North Carolina will host competitors for the second annual ACC Debate Championship which will be held April 15th through the 17th at UNC’s Rizzo Center.

Building upon a longstanding tradition of debate between ACC schools, this year’s tournament will feature teams from ten ACC schools, including Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Pitt, Virginia and returning champions Wake Forest.

“The tournament brings the same intense, tournament style, school-versus-school model of competition that characterizes ACC athletic competition into the classroom,” said Christian Lundberg, an associate professor in the department of communication in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and the event organizer. “More importantly, it demonstrates that the ACC is as dedicated to fostering competitive excellence in academics as it is to fostering athletic competition.”

The topic for the debate is “Resolved: That the United States should adopt substantially stricter gun control regulations, including a prohibition on carrying firearms at college and university campuses.” Competitors must prepare to debate both sides of the question, and will alternate between defending both the affirmative and the negative during the contest.

image001 (002)“I think it is phenomenal that the ACC supports academic competition, and especially that it supports debate,” said Lundberg. “One of our most pressing public problems is that we have lost the ability to talk through tough partisan issues reasonably, and the ACC Debate Championship provides concrete proof that the ACC values the deliberative skills that are crucial to academic success, and to the success of American democracy.”

“Free food, fiercely competitive debates, and ACC rivalry: what’s not to love?” said North Carolina junior Ryan McCarthy, who placed third in last year’s competition.

Competition on Saturday and Sunday will be streamed live on YouTube. All four rounds on April 16 will be streamed beginning at 8:30 am. On April 17, round five will air at 9 am, with the championship round at 2 pm. All will be available at

In the inaugural debate competition in 2015, teams from nine ACC schools participated. Hosted by Wake Forest at the Graylyn Conference Center, the featured issue was “Should student athletes receive monetary compensation for participating in athletic competition?”  At the April championship, all teams were tasked with debating both sides of the resolution.  Among the participants were 15 competitive debaters and three student-athletes.  In the finals, Wake Forest, defending the negative, won out over a previously undefeated team from the University of Miami.

The debate is funded by the ACC Academic Consortium, which is supported by a special fund within the conference budget and guided by the universities’ presidents, provosts and chief undergraduate education officers. In its 12th year, the ACCAC builds upon familiarity and identity nurtured by athletic competition among the 15 universities, with the mission of enhancing the academic experience of all students and the success of faculty and administrators through collaborative programs, ideas, and recognitions. More information is available at

About the ACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 63rd year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity.  For more information, visit and follow @theACC on Twitter and on


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