Illegal immigration is the subject of Thursday’s Texan Debate.

The Tarleton event is modeled after the University of California - Chico’s Great Debate, with the goal of teaching Tarleton students to discuss and analyze controversial topics in an organized, civil manner. 

“This event pulls many students and community members to an important topic trending in our society,” said Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason, head of the Department of Communication Studies. “We choose a new topic, and Dr. Del Richey trains new debaters each semester, which is a big, but rewarding, undertaking.”

The Texan Debate is housed within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts’ Department of Communication Studies. The Civic Expo provides a space for students to speak on the debate topic and engage in discussion about it from a variety of angles.

At the expo, student organizations and programs have space to help participants explore the topic from a variety of perspectives. This year’s participants include Student Government Association, Student Social Work Association, Tarleton Gay-Straight Alliance, German Club, Texas Social Media Research Institute, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and Student Counseling Center.

A series of three hour-long debate rounds begins at 1 p.m. in the lecture halls in the O.A. Grant Building, and a final debate, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Auditorium, partners two student debaters with faculty and community members.

“It is powerful to see our students transform into debaters as they research, explore and dissect the topic from various points-of-view,” Helvie-Mason said.  

Each debate will operate under the direction of a moderator. Parking is available in the Fine Arts lot on campus.