ARTICLE BY: JOSEPH LAURENDEAU
Did you know that NCU has a Speech and Debate club? The Speakin’ Beacons are headed up by Doctor Doyle Srader who has a PHD in Argumentation. This Semester the Speakin’ Beacons have attended three tournaments, The Pacific/Whitworth Tournament back in October where Sierra McClain and yours truly competed in our first college level event. We were both entered into Open IPDA, a very politely structured form of debate with random topics assigned. I managed to make the semifinals and took bronze on day one, while Sierra took home a silver on day two, an impressive showing for our first event.
The second tournament was at Linfield, where Kristyn Dodge made her first appearance and also the first tournament where we participated in speech events. Sierra ended up in 5th place for Junior Impromptu speaking (out of 46 entries) and 6th place for Junior Persuasive, where she gave a wonderful speech about orphans. I managed to make the Quarter finals in Debate and took 5th place speaker in the Novice IPDA division.
The most recent tournament however has been was the most exciting. The tournament at Clark, where Zoe Herron made her debate debuted and where many of our non-debate members revealed the pieces they’ve been working on for months. The most exciting part of the tournament was when NCU took 1st 2nd and 3rd in Novice Duos, where two people perform a scene. The First place Duo was Alleya Harris and Cindy Najera, Second went to Emily and Timothy Kaelin and Third place went to Isaiah Blake and Ed Fryrear. Isaiah Blake also took first place in Novice Communication Analysis, where the speaker writes and presents an analysis of a rhetorical artifact.
Each of the members on the Speakin’ Beacons brings their own special joy to the table and every single one of them shines brightly in the work they do. I am honored to call them my teammates and am proud of the way they represent NCU. As Doyle always tells us “We are here to be excellent, let the winning take care of itself.” His leadership and guidance as our faculty advisor is what really drives the club forward. If you’re interested in joining us next semester for our adventures and hijinks, we meet on Wednesdays at 4pm for debate practice, and you can individually arrange meetings with Doctor Srader to practice speech events. These tournaments are truly an amazing experience and the skills and friendships you gain far outweigh any stage-fright I’ve come across.