The Regents Cup is a debate competition for students of Arizona’s public universities that emphasizes respect and civil discourse. We spoke with Karrin Taylor Robson of the Arizona Board of Regents about this year’s upcoming competition.
Regent Robson described it by saying, “the Regents cup really celebrates free speech, civil discourse and democratic engagement at our state’s three public universities. It was an idea that I had when I was first appointed to the board of regents, in fact, it emanated from a conversation I had with my son who was 15 years old at the time. I was dropping him off at school and he said ‘mom, they’re for diversity of everything but thought.’ and it just struck me coming from my 15-year-old and then when I was appointed to the board of regents I thought, you know we have an opportunity in Arizona, particularly with the largest university in the country, to have a competition amongst our three universities where the students can come together and have a robust competition on free speech and the First Amendment.”
She went on to say, “without free speech a university can’t fulfill what is its most basic, fundamental, and essential purpose and that’s to foster free speech and ideological diversity and tolerance with one another.”
The competition also comes with scholarship and credit hour prizes for the students who are involved. Robson said she reached out to the business community for support prior to the first Regents Cup and they continue to support now. It will take place on April 24th this year.