The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU Debate team has successful first year

Mississippi State University Speech and Debate Council has had a successful first year.  The team has been to three tournaments this year with a one in the near future.  The team is composed of students who compete with other schools in the south east International Public Debate Association including Louisiana State University, the University of Tennessee, the University of Alabama and many others.
  MSU’s team competes in speech and debate tournaments are competitions made up of many different events in which the contestant presents speeches they had previously prepared, poetry, or short form literature.  There are acting proponents in these speeches and they are performed in front of many different judges. 
In the debate competition, the contestants are given a random topic with 30 minutes to prepare, and are paired with an opponent and the one with the best stance wins. 
  Athena Kavanagh,  junior economic major and president of MSU Speech and Debate, said she encourages students to join the team because it develops tools to help someone for the rest of their lives.
  “Joining the team and being part of its growth has been such a good experience for me,” Kavanagh said.  “I’ve learned so many skills, speaking and leadership skills, problem solving skills, skills that I feel like are really going to benefit me after college and in my career.”
   MSU had a team decades ago and the team was started again because of interest from students and faculty.
  The Speech and Debate team also carries out many service projects.  They are currently teaming up with the African American Studies department to hold the 3rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest.
 The team is also hoping to get involved with peer tutoring for the Starkville high debate in the near future.
  The Speech and Debate team also is looking forward to growing in the future according to Brett Harvey, the debate coach.
  “Over the spring we’re going to be making some efforts to get new members for next year and we’re really excited about having funding to travel a good bit next year and extending our team,” Harvey said.
  Cheryl Chambers, head coach of the team, said she encourages students to join for their own benefit and to expand their knowledge.
   “I really feel that these events both have a lot of benefits for college students as far as for the rest of their college career into their professional life, the debate aspect really requires you to think on your feet, that your able to critically analyze information and sometimes have to argue for something you don’t necessarily believe in which means you’re having to analyze even more than you would before and not base things on your own assumptions,” Chambers said.  “The prepared speech is about writing skills. These events are going to develop public speaking skills, persuasion skills, delivery skills, and emotional aspects giving you a way to express something in a way that you may not have the opportunity to in traditional theater because there are only limited roles.  Anyone can be the lead if they’re doing their own interpretive piece.”
  The team has many interest meetings coming up.  They have a general body meeting Feb. 29 at 7:15 room 231 of the Union and the debate meets Tuesday’s at 6 p.m. in room 230 of the union and Thursday at 6 p.m. in room 231.  Any students interested in joining can contact Cheryl Chambers or Athena Kavanagh for more information.
   Many MSU students have placed in the competitions attended.  Parker Krag received the 1st place Speaker Award in the Novice Division, Athen Kavanagh received Top Novice Award in Informative Speaking, and William Bonduris received 2nd place Speaker Award in Junior Varsity Division.  Many other students were awarded various other awards.  13 of the 25 students who belong to the MSU Speech and Debate Council, participated in these tournaments.
 
 

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
MSU Debate team has successful first year