The ACU debate team competed against top-tier universities from all over the country in the National Parliamentary Debate Association tournament in Lubbock last weekend. Although no ACU team placed, the debaters held their own against much larger universities, said Dena Counts, instructor of communication and director of forensics.
Jeff Craig, Jared Perkins, Margaret Moore, Keri Gray, Scott Adrian and Sarah Ratliff competed in teams of two against representatives from universities such as Purdue University, Texas Tech and Notre Dame.
Adrian, junior political science and communications major from Los Angeles, Calif., said he was excited to be there.
“It was a learning experience for sure,” said Adrian, who partnered with Ratliff.
Topics for debate, called resolutions, are chosen prior to competition by members of the National Debate Committee and can cover a wide variety of subjects regarding foreign or domestic policy. The teams are given 20 minutes to discuss the resolution before the debate starts. That is also when debaters are told whether they will be for or against the resolution, Adrian said.
Counts began coaching the team last year, and she has taken the debate program from solely regional debates to the national level, Adrian said.
This weekend, Rebecca Dial, Brianna Bowman and Keyi Khou are going to the Novice National tournament in Hutchison, Kans., along with Perkins and Ratliff.Â Many universities across the country are represented at the Novice Nationals every year, such as Florida State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, according to cas.bethel.edu. Craig and Gray placed at the NPDA last year and finished second in the Novice National debate. Craig also placed second in impromptu speaking and fifth in extemporaneous speaking at the Novice Nationals.
Adrian said Â the debate program has helped him improve his speaking skills. He said he believes it will benefit him in his future profession in law or politics.
“Other members on the team that are studying ad/PR or Bible can use the speaking skills learned in debate to benefit their careers as well,” Adrian said.