Photo provided by the ORU debate team.
After attending two tournaments in the fall semester, the ORU debate team walked away with high rankings and high hopes.
The ORU debate team, coached by Professor of Communication Agena Farmer, started in the fall of 2011. Curently, around 15 students meet biweekly for a course taught by Farmer and perform debate rounds outside of the class. During the fall, the team attends the University of Arkansas-Monticello tournament, competing with schools from Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. The sanctioned tournaments count toward the national tournament in the spring. Within a tournament, there are three divisions of debate: novice, junior varsity and varsity.
“Being on the team teaches you how to articulate your points in a professional manner,” said Jamia Matthews, one of the team’s captains. “You also get the opportunity to learn about topics you otherwise wouldn’t think about.”
The two tournaments attended this semester were at the University of Arkansas-Monticello and Carl Albert State College. The team won sweepstakes trophies, which are team ranking, at both of the tournaments, third at the University of Arkansas and first at Carl Albert State College.
First-year debater Lucas Wyatt won first place in the novice division against 58 debaters. Sammy Mills also placed in the novice debate, winning third place. Both of the team’s varsity debaters reached the semi-final round where Jake Ethington won second place out of 36 debaters and also won first place in speaker points.
“As we prepare for the National IPDA competition in the spring, these tournaments help us hone skills and find the best groupings for team debate,” said Professor Farmer. “I am very proud of their hard work.”