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Three students from ASU, NAU and UArizona

Regents’ Cup applications open for student debate competition

Applications are now open for the fifth annual Regents’ Cup, a tri-university speech and debate competition celebrating free speech and hosted by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Any student from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University or University of Arizona may apply to represent their university at Regents’ Cup, regardless of former debate experience. Students compete in either Oxford debate or persuasive storytelling, sharing true stories from personal experiences.

The board awards generous scholarships to first, second and third place winners - $15,000, $12,000 and $5,000 respectively. All other team members receive a $500 scholarship. The funds can be used at student’s discretion to support and advance their education. Students are also eligible to receive internship or course credit for their work.

Regents’ Cup honors participants for articulating different points of view in an environment where competitors remain civil and respectful. This year’s competition — centered around the theme Democracy, Justice, and the Rule of Law — is on March 23, 2024, at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

“Embracing diversity of thought is fundamental to critical thinking, creativity, conflict resolution, personal growth and much more, all essential skills for the advancement of a democratic society,” said Regent Larry E. Penley, who is the regent advisor for the event. “Now in its fifth year, the Regents’ Cup reflects the values of our nation and promotes a competition where opponents treat each other with respect and disagree with civility.”

University teams are selected in October and on campus coaches prepare students for the competition in March.

Watch the 2023 Regents’ Cup storytelling winner here and the Oxford debate winner here.

Arizona’s public universities are champions of free speech, and the universities are campus-wide, free-speech zones. ASU, NAU and UArizona are all recognized with the highest free speech rating by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.  

The application deadline is October 16. Find more information about Regents’ Cup and the application here.


Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 |

Megan Gilbertson, 602-229-2529 |