Debaters Take Second at Competition

Students from the Truman State University Forensic Union garnered awards at the Nebraska Double-Up, co-hosted by Creighton University (Omaha, Neb.) and Concordia University (Seward, Neb.), Oct. 19-21 in Omaha. Among the 12 honors the team brought home, Truman debaters were ranked second overall in the debate division of the tournament.

In parliamentary debate competition, the team of Dylan Rothermel, a senior economics major from Homewood, Ill., and Mark Buchheit, a sophomore history major from Carthage, Mo., reached the semifinals of the open division before being defeated by last year’s national runner-up team from Creighton University. Their compatriots, Sara Archer, a senior accounting major from Riverside, Mo., and Chris Girouard, a junior communication major from Chesterfield, Mo., reached the octafinals of the open division tournament. Parliamentary debaters engage topics of value and policy on a range of different topics, which change for each debate.

Meanwhile, in Lincoln-Douglas debate competition, three Truman competitors reached elimination rounds. Dylan Clark, a freshman political science major from Maryland Heights, Mo., took second in the junior division of the tournament, losing in the final round to a competitor from Wisconsin’s Carthage College after defeating competitors from Creighton and Missouri Southern State University. Sarah Backhaus, a freshman political science major from Liberty, Mo., reached the octafinals of the open division of the tournament, while Barbara Gillard, a freshman political science major from Jackson, Mo., reached the quarterfinals of the junior division. Girouard was ranked the fifth-best speaker in the open division, followed by Buchheit, who was ranked sixth. Clark was ranked the best speaker in the junior division, followed by Gillard in fifth place. Students in Lincoln-Douglas debate argue about various aspects of foreign aid policy toward the Greater Horn of Africa for the duration of the 2007-2008 season.

In individual speaking events, a young team garnered some of its first awards and earliest National Championship tournament qualifications. Andrew Kindiger, a freshman English major from Liberty, Mo., reached semifinals of extemporaneous speaking at the portion of the tournament hosted by Creighton University. Archer took home sixth-place honors in extemporaneous speaking at the Concordia half of the tournament, qualifying for the National Forensic Association championships in April. She was joined by Jamie Menown, a sophomore nursing major from Kansas City, Mo., who took fifth in rhetorical criticism and also garnered her first nationals qualification. Extemporaneous speakers deliver seven-minute speeches on questions related to current events and public policy, after a brief 30-minute preparation period. Students in rhetorical criticism provide a 10-minute speech analyzing an artifact of public communication.

Gillard, Clark and Backhaus’ placements in Lincoln-Douglas debate competition similarly qualify them for national competition in April.
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