ACU’s speech and debate team had a successful last competition of the year. The team traveled to Portland, Ore., last week to compete in the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament against more than 70 universities, including the University of Nebraska and Texas A&M University.
Dena Counts, director of forensics, said her team has learned to work together.
“Team dynamics is a real key to success. Our team won third overall in debate sweepstakes,” Counts said.
Team members Jared Perkins, junior political science major from Peru, Ill., and Jeff Craig, junior print journalism major from Granbury, continued their success and are ranked the 16th team in the nation, after being named top superior parliamentary debate team at the national tournament.
“We did really well. It is becoming commonplace,” Perkins said.
The group also walked away with many individual awards. Freshman Sam Groom won novice top superior in individual public debate. Junior Margaret Moore took sixth place in informative speaking with her speech on the use of echolocation among the visually impaired. Senior Scott Adrian won sixth place in after-dinner speaking with a speech about male objectification. Senior Brianna Bowman won third place in communication analysis. Toni Maisano and Victoria Knaupp took third place in JV parliamentary debate.
“There were many other awards, these are just some highlights,” Counts said.
Perkins said his and Craig’s differences in political thinking have contributed to their success in tournaments.
“I am very liberal, while Jeff is very conservative. We play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Because we do not think the same, we are able to cover both sides. It makes it a lot easier,” Perkins said.
As the debate season ends, Perkins reflects on what he has gotten out of being a part of the team.
“I love the fellowship. I have developed a lot of close friendships, not only at ACU. I value friendship and comradery.”