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Debate team successful in national finals

On March 22, the ORU debate team competed in a national debate tournament in Russellville, Arkansas, taking home many awards. The International Public Debate Association, the fastest growing collegiate debate association in the country, hosted the event. At the IPDA Tournament, ORU competed against 64 different schools from all corners of the country, and came home with many awards and honors to show for it.
Cheyenne McKee took the team to the final round of the tournament winning second place in the Varsity division. Jamia Matthews received multiple awards, including honors as the tenth-ranked speaker in the novice division. Faith Makoni reached double octofinals in the novice division, and overall the ORU Novice debaters received honors as the fourth ranked Novice group in the country.
Over the past few years, the ORU debate team has won nationals in the novice division of various other associations. However, this is the first time the team has reached the final round since switching to the IPDA format three years ago.
“[IPDA] is quite funny, but it looks more impressive than it actually is. However, it is a very great tool that teaches you more than ‘arguing.’ It helps you get over the public speaking fear that discourages most people from joining,” said team captain Sebastian Martinez. “I could keep talking about what makes debate great, but if I were to summarize all of this I would tell people to join because there are great benefits to what we do for the professional life.”
Martinez explained that the ORU Debate Team closely follows the motto of ORU by exercising the mind, body and spirit during each tournament. It exercises the body when running from round to round, it prepares the mind when quickly researching different topics and it challenges the spirit by learning to argue a topic that you may not necessarily agree with.