By Sarah Carlson, Student Reporter
When Ben Stevens isn’t singing on the stage in various ACU Theatre productions, he is debating in national tournaments-and winning first place.
Stevens, junior musical theatre major from Colleyville, placed first in Lincoln-Douglas debate in the 2003 National Christian College Forensics Invitational March 14-16.
Stevens will also compete in the National Forensic Association tournament Thursday and Friday in Muncie, Ind., a slot he earned by winning first place at the state tournament last fall.
The sixth annual NCCF Invitational was held at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif., and consisted of 26 member schools of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities.
The topic for the invitational was: “Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase assistance to United States residents living below the poverty line.”
Sally Gary, instructor of communication and director of forensics, said the topic works well with a Christian debate team.
“It’s a wonderful topic for Christian schools to be talking about-the aspect of service and how we can formulate policies that will help people who are truly in need,” Gary said.
Both Stevens and Gary said the tournament went well, and Stevens said that it was long and proved to be “an endurance test.”
This was only the second tournament in which Stevens was able to participate this school year, because he has been busy with theatre productions such as Jekyll and Hyde and Joyful Noise.
For his career, Stevens said he is leaving his options open, but his first choice would be teaching theatre.
Stevens said debate helps teach others how to communicate, which would help him in a teaching career.
Stevens also pointed out that in smaller schools, debate is often taught by the theatre teacher.
“Debate teaches you to think critically, and that is one of the greatest gifts that it has given me over the years,” Stevens said. “A lot of times we are encouraged to just listen to the news and believe what we see, but it is important to question things, think them through and figure it out for oneself. There are two sides to every issue.”