State Champions: Debate Team takes First Place at State
The Cameron University speech and debate team competed in the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Forensics Association (OIFA) tournament Feb. 26-27 and won multiple state championship titles. Schools from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri competed.
The first day of competition focused on the preliminary rounds of parliamentary debate.
The second day consisted of the semi-finals and final rounds of parliamentary debate in addition to the individual events.
Alex Amos and Christopher Mayfield secured the State Championship title and second overall in tournament for their efforts in parliamentary debate.
Savannah Sanders, Elizabeth Good, and Alex Amos each placed in individual events as well.
For the members of the speech and debate team, placing in competition is validation that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Vice president Alex Amos said schools are quick to discredit Cameron based on their small size.
“We’ve got three full time debaters,” Amos said. “And that’s pretty small, especially compared to the schools that we go and compete up against.
“It’s really cool being this tiny school in the middle of nowhere that like people walk in to the round: ‘Where you from?’ Cameron, ‘Where?’ and then you walk out and they’re like ‘Wow, they’re really good.’”
Secretary Elizabeth Good reiterated the impact the Aggies created at the competition.
“They know us after the tournament,” she said.
With seven competitors, Cameron’s speech and debate team walks into every competition with lower statistical odds of placing compared to the larger teams, yet they rarely leave empty handed.
Elizabeth Good credits the team’s closeness as a major contributor to their success.
“Being a family, like we are, is one of the most important parts of what make us work well,” Good said. “We all want to have fun and do well for each other, and we all want to make sure we do our best so we don’t look poorly on other people on the team.”
Good also said that when one member of the team advances forward in competition it’s as exciting for the team as it is for the competitor.
“You just light up,” she said. “You’re pumped, you’re going to go support them in that round, … so I think this team is probably the best team that I’ve ever been on, in all my years competing, just because we are so close and we are so tightly woven”
Following their big win at OIFA, the team traveled to Lexington, Kentucky to compete for national titles. Out of nearly 100 schools competing, the Cameron forensics team was able to place in multiple categories including interviewing, program of oral interpretation (POI), and editorial impromptu.
Good, who placed fifth overall in POI, said competing is more to her than placing or winning titles.
“I think about the message I want to tell people,” she said. “Several times, people have come up to me and said ‘Thank you for doing this, this piece really touches me’ and so I think about how much of a voice I have in this competition, that I can use for much more than competition.”
For information on how to get involved with the speech and debate team, students can contact coach and communications professor Sarah Collins.
To stay updated with upcoming events and competitions, students can visit the forensics team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cameron.forensics.