Truman’s Forensic Union Starts Season with Win

Truman’s Forensic Union, speech and debate team, opened this season with notable success, securing the debate sweepstakes championship and earning four early-season qualifications for the National Forensic Association championships in April.
Sweepstakes is an overall tally of the performance of individual universities in debate competition, compiling the performances of all a school’s competitors. Truman’s finish placed them ahead of regional competitors such as Illinois State and Hillsdale College, and against more far-removed contenders such as Lafayette College and the University of Kentucky.
Donny Richardson, a sophomore history major, began the weekend by reaching the final round of the second annual Western Kentucky Round Robin, an invitation-based tournament in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
During the open portion of the weekend, the Western Kentucky “Forensic Fiesta,” Kelsey Barnes, freshman political science and history major, and Connor Stewart, freshman business administration major, closed-out the final round of novice Lincoln-Douglas debate, sharing the tournament championship. Elias Garcia, freshman economics and computer science major, reached the semifinals of the novice division, after meeting teammate Barnes in the semifinal bracket. Barnes was also ranked top speaker in the novice division.
In the open division of Lincoln-Douglas debate, Max Highsmith, senior math and computer science major, reached the quarterfinals while Mackenzie Barnes, junior political science major, reached the octafinal round. Richardson was ranked third speaker in the division.
The team travels next to Bradley University and Illinois State University for the “74 Swing” Oct. 4-5.
Participation in the forensics program is open to any student in good standing, regardless of prior speech and debate experience. For more information, visit or contact Christopher Outzen, director of individual events, at, or Kevin Minch, interim director of forensics, at

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