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Debate wins big at weekend competition

The Forensic team won several award at the 4th Annual Ozark Cup, hosted by the University, last Saturday.

JBU has hosted several speech and debate competitions in the past, but this tournament was the biggest one of the year.

Students from nine different universities were represented at the debate and competed for awards in several categories such as: Drama Interpretation, Duet Improvisation and Communication Analysis.

An overall number of 100 students presented at the debate. The number of JBU students represented was 30 which consisted of those judging debates, competing and helping Erick Roebuck, assistant professor of communication and fine arts and head of the school’s forensic team.

“Regardless of our competition level, we enjoy hosting tournaments and see it as a ministry to other teams,” Roebuck said. “Not every student competing in speech and debate competitions is a Christian, so we have a tremendous opportunity to share the light of Christ with those we meet at tournaments.”

Students arrived at the tournament without any prior knowledge of their intended topic.

In the debate rounds, the competitor from the affirmative side and negative side got a choice of five topics for each round. Once the topic was finalized, the competitors were given 30 minutes to prepare for a 30-minute debate.

Broderick Wilson, a senior, has competed on JBU’s forensic team since his sophomore year. He was first inspired to debate after watching the move, “The Great Debaters.” He competed in four speech rounds at the tournament. Wilson spends a month on average preparing for his speeches. Since his start on the forensic team he has developed new skills and tactics from each one.

“One thing that a competitor must know is that no matter the subject, you should treat it as a senior dissertation until the round is over,” Wilson said. “Learning this lesson, I’m aware that I constantly need to practice on being more alive and passionate in communication, whether I enjoy the subject matter or not.”

Wilson took home second place in Poetry, third place in Persuasive, third place in Spoken Word and fourth place in Communication Analysis.

Wilson was not the only member of the team to place. Aliya Kuykendall, Amy Perry and Zach Koym all had first place finishes in their categories. In the Novice Informative section, teammates Daniela Reyes and Rachel Musiime took second and third respectively.

Amanda Neely and Hannah Wright took third in their categories. Neely also took fifth place in the Spoken Word category.

With each tournament, the students competing and those in charge of putting the event on experience something new and carry that insight into future debate tournaments.

This was the last competition of the year. The forensic team plans to spend the remaining portion of the semester preparing for the fall semester and growing and developing into even better speakers.