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Speech & Debate Society Places First in Division

Speech & Debate Society


The Covenant College Speech & Debate Society concluded another successful season in March 2015, at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational (NCCFI) tournament in Lakewood, Colorado.


The team competed in three successful fall tournaments at the University of North Georgia, Belmont University, and Transylvania University, making their way to quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals in parliamentary debate. During the spring, the team traveled to Murray State University where Mackenzie Harmon ’17 and Scott Hoelsema ’15 took home second place in parliamentary debate and Celia Gianis ’16 won first place varsity radio champion.


“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed coaching the team this year, and I think this year’s success is a testament to these students,” said Sarah Swygard ’13. “These students care about the world and want to think through important questions about culture and current events.  They see the world in the reality of complexity, and they continually wrestle with how to reconcile that complexity with their faith in a secular context.  I have been very proud of how this team has gone above and beyond expectations to prepare for tournaments and improve their speaking skills. We have students with various levels of debate experience, but I have witnessed a team that picks up concepts quickly and applies them to their argumentation.”


At the NCCFI tournament held at Colorado Christian University, Covenant’s team won first place overall sweepstakes for division II colleges. The sweepstakes award is given to the team that garners the most overall points in their division. Covenant teams advanced to quarterfinals in both novice and varsity parliamentary debate. Lauren MacDougall ’18 won top novice debate speaker, Mackenzie Harmon earned second place varsity debate speaker, Morgan Barney ’18 took home third place novice persuasive speaker, and Jonathan Turner ’16 placed fifth in novice extemporaneous speaking.


“I joined the debate team without any prior experience, and since then have greatly grown in my communication skills and my ability to evaluate ideas and arguments,” said MacDougall. “Learning about a wide array of issues has expanded my perspective of the world and given me a greater appreciation for differing opinions. Moreover, the opportunity to be a part of such an encouraging team has taught me what it means to be a good teammate and friend.”