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Student Debaters Win Multiple Tournament Awards


Members of Covenant’s Speech & Debate Society found success in three tournaments this semester, traveling to Belmont University, Berea College, and Berry College. 


“We had a really great season,” says Sarah Swygard ’13, president of the society. Sarah notes that many students who had never competed in debate before brought home various awards for their individual efforts. “I think that’s just a testament to Covenant students,” says Sarah. 


At Berea College, Covenant placed third in its division in sweepstakes awards, which are given based on overall team performance. Bryce Stout ’14 and Ian Dovan ’13 took first place out of nearly twenty teams in the novice parliamentary debate. Bryce also took fourth place in the novice debate speaking awards. Harris Stevens ’15 took fourth place in the varsity speaker awards and in varsity extemporaneous speaking.


At Berry College, Harris Stevens '15 won the top varsity speaker award. Paul Broussard ’16 and Jake Wasdin ’15 were both quarterfinalists in the novice parliamentary debate. Paul won a speaker award for the novice parliamentary debate, Harris placed fourth in varsity impromptu speaking, and Kevin Hughes '15 placed fourth in novice extemporaneous speaking.


Finally, at Belmont University, Bryce, Ian, Kevin, and Stephen McKerihan ’15 reached the octafinals in novice parliamentary debate. In addition, Bryce took sixth place, out of about 60 debaters, in the overall speaker award, while Ian reached the semifinals for open extemporaneous speaking. Nathan Sweetman ’16 reached the semifinals for open impromptu speaking, and Kevin placed fourth in novice extemporaneous speaking.


Sarah notes that good debaters come from various majors. “You’re always going to have to be speaking in front of people, whether it’s in office meetings, in class, or just hanging out with people. Speech and debate helps prepare you for that, whatever your occupation is,” she says. “It’s such a beneficial skill to have.”