Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heard on the Hill: KU debate teams head to nationals; students’ rental history headed for credit reports; Toni Morrison read-a-thon seeking night owls

February 17, 2011


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Some Heard on the Hill mad props are due to KU’s always-competitive debate team, which has qualified two teams as automatic qualifiers to the National Debate Tournament, scheduled from March 25-28 in Dallas.

The two teams who will be going are Dylan Quigley, a Wichita senior, and Sean Kennedy, a Leawood junior, and Patrick Kennedy, a Leawood junior, and Matthew Petersen, a Wichita senior.

They both qualified as automatic bids to the 78-team field.

In order to do that, they had to be among the top 16 teams in the country, as selected by a national committee. Only Northwestern joined KU in having two automatic qualifiers. The rest of the field will be filled during tournaments taking place in the next three weeks.

KU’s squad was ranked third in the final coaches’ poll of the season, behind only Northwestern and Emory, two debate powerhouses.

KU debater Dylan Quigley demonstrates a speaking drill

KU debater Dylan Quigley has a few quick things he would like to talk about. Enlarge video

Here’s a pretty good video of Quigley taken by Kevin Anderson that accompanies a story done by colleague extraordinaire Brenna Hawley.

I’ve always been fascinated by college debate, particularly because it’s done by some pretty smart folks. And, as demonstrated by Quigley’s video, it can be pretty taxing. It's easy to dismiss their fast speaking as a silly activity that has no real point, but, believe me, it's quite the mental exercise.

Debaters are also usually pretty good at talking slowly, too.

• Here’s some news for college renters — paying rent on time may soon bolster your credit.

That’s according to Bill Hardekopf, an author and CEO of

Experian, one of the three major credit score agencies in the country, will be factoring in 25 months of rental history on their credit reports soon, if available.

The “bad stuff” like evictions and collections already go on accounts, but Hardekopf said in a press release that landlords would benefit from sending the information along because they could use the database to conduct background checks.

Experian is the only credit reporting agency so far to include positive rental history, but if it is successful, the other two agencies could leap on the bandwagon, Hardekopf said.

• That Toni Morrison 24-hour read-a-thon is in need of a few more readers.

As can probably be imagined when putting together a 24-hour read-a-thon, some of the most difficult hours to fill appear to be from 11:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.

So if you 1.) enjoy what my grandmother termed “hooting with the owls” and 2.) don’t happen to be doing anything in particular from 11:30 tonight until 5:30 on Friday morning, give English professor Giselle Anatol a ring.

You can reach her at 864-2530 or

She’s got some Toni Morrison for you to read.

• I’d volunteer to read for that entire block of time, but I’ll surely be sorting through all the tips I get for Heard on the Hill today. Help me out by sending me an e-mail at


Shardwurm 7 years, 1 month ago

Awesome about reporting rental history.

Now kids with $50,000 of student loan debt, no job, and a worthless degree can hope that paying their rent with mom and dad's money will help their credit rating.

I feel sorry for this generation of students. (The middle class ones that is) They and their parents are so hosed.

The Education Industry is killing the buying power of the middle class and anchoring them with debt.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"The Education Industry is killing the buying power of the middle class and anchoring them with debt."

That statement is somewhere between erroneous and superficial. But it certainly makes ideological points you intended.

slowplay 7 years, 1 month ago

Or they can be like my chidren; with academic sholorships, little debt upon graduation, MBA's and $100K jobs.

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 1 month ago

Shardwurm, a lot of people rent who aren't students, too.

I used to have credit card problems (my own fault, I know)... but I never, ever paid my rent late, as I find having a roof over my head pretty important! But it didn't matter. I'm glad to see that it will count for something now. I'm still a renter even though my credit is fine these days.

Jason Badgett 7 years ago

I've seen Quigley debate several times. He's actually a lot faster than that.

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