MSU hosts its first regional speech and debate tournament
January 28, 2020 (Tuesday)For three days, the Mississippi State University campus hosted almost 200 college students for a regional speech and debate tournament. The Southern Forensics Championship, hosted by the MSU Speech and Debate Council, drew in competitors from 27 schools across nine states. This is the first time MSU has hosted the regional tournament, which also serves as the state championship for each of the events in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The speaking events range from one-on-one IPDA debate, to memorized and performed informational or dramatic speeches. The tournament was capped off with an awards ceremony in the Bettersworth Auditorium of Lee Hall.
MSU students competing in the event came away with many awards. Dawn Jackson earned 4th place in Informative Speaking, and is the Mississippi Champion in this event. Mia Robertson won the Persuasive Speaking contest, and is the Mississippi Champion. Robertson also earned the 5th place spot in Extemporaneous Speaking and went undefeated in a field of 42 debaters in the Junior Varsity division to become the Mississippi Champion for that event. Tyler Melvin was also in the JV division, where he finished as a quarter-finalist and earned the 4th place Speaker Award. Amanda Kronenberger finished as an octo-finalist in a field of 49 in Novice Debate and earned the 4th place Speaker Award in that division. Alicia Brown finished as an octo-finalist in a large field of Varsity Debate, where she earned the 4th place Speaker Award and was named the Mississippi Champion. Alicia Brown and Josh McCoy paired up to compete in partner debate (TIPDA), and they finished the weekend as semi-finalists.
Combining the efforts of all MSU students competing, MSU earned the 1st place Debate Team Sweepstakes and the 3rd place Overall Team Sweepstakes for this major tournament.
The regional tournament is organized by the Southern Forensics Championships Board, where MSU Speech and Debate advisor Cheryl Chambers serves as one of two Mississippi representatives. Alicia Brown rotated out of her position as a student representative to the SFC Board, and MSU's Nirmal Bhatt was elected to start the new term.