Siloam Springs, Ark (February 2, 2004) - Seven colleges and universities from around the state will convene on the John Brown University campus this weekend to compete in the Arkansas Speech and Debate Collegiate Championship, Feb. 6-7. This is the first time for JBU to host the state tournament. “Our program is only four years old, and I want other schools to know where JBU is on the map,” said Jason Hough, coach of the speech and debate team. Hough expressed interest in hosting the 2004 tournament at last year’s State Championship and was granted the responsibility. Arkansas Tech University, the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University, the University of Arkansas Monticello, Mississippi County Community College and Henderson State University will join the JBU team in the competition. Students will compete in different speaking events, including prose interpretation, poetry interpretation, impromptu speaking and persuasive speaking. Students will also participate in team and individual debate competition throughout the weekend. “It is a great opportunity to introduce younger students and members of the community to a worthwhile activity,” said Hough. “It also allows other schools to come and experience our standard of academic excellence.” The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the tournament, contact Jason Hough at (479) 524-9500. John Brown University is a top-tier private university, ranked 11th by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,800 students from 42 states and 42 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.