Wednesday, December 19, 2018
SMU debate had a great semester and is presently ranked #6 in the nation for IPDA (International Public Debate Association). SMU student debaters won more than 100 awards in competition and it was perhaps the most successful single semester in our 10 year history. Our team of twenty debaters, three coaches, and director, achieved the following results in this fall semester:
SMU Debate also conducted a far reaching on campus debate program reaching hundreds of people. These debates included:
More than 100 SMU students signed up at our opening registration event in August of 2018 and more than 20 students travelled to competitions off campus. More than 300 students and community members attended these events. Debaters and debate events were covered by the Washington Post and Fox News national broadcast.
Director, Dr. Ben Voth continued his work as the Calvin Coolidge Debate fellow that reaches thousands of high school students with the power of civic debate and provides an annual national championship in high school debate. Dr. Voth also hosted President Bush on November 27 in his Persuasion class to discuss how the President prepared for his Presidential debates. Dr. Voth’s 2017 book, James Farmer Jr.: The Great Debater was selected by his publisher Lexington Books for re-release in paperback in April of 2019 based on its popularity and success. Thanks for your support of SMU debate activity. We look forward to greater events here next semester.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Rwandan debate team at James Farmer Jr.’s home in Marshall, Texas
SMU Debate 10 years 2008 to 2018
SMU debate was re-born in 2008 after many starts and stops since the university’s inception in 1915. This video provides a review of the past decade of debate at SMU:
Price Morgan is the #1 rated speaker in the nation for novice and Connor Pittman is the #5 rated speaker. SMU is the only school with two speakers in the top ten nationally. This ranking is based upon speaker points awarded by judges rather than win/loss and indicates the overall quality of speaking. Criteria for speaking include: cross examination, delivery, refutation, and analysis. In the November 5 rankings of IPDA SMU is ranked #5 in the nation behind LSUS, Union University, Drury University, and the Unviersity of Tennessee.
Connor Pittman and Price Morgan are the # 3 and #8 novice debaters in the nation based on win/loss records. SMU’s novice squad is #7 in the nation. Chip Myers is the #7 JV debater and Ryan Booth is #15 in the nation. SMU’s JV squad is #4 in the nation overall. Art Tay is the #7 speaker in the JV division nationally. Booth and Morgan are #14 and #15.
SMU has the #10 varsity squad in the nation. Maggie Cook Allen is the #5 varsity speaker based on speaker points.
SMU won 11 out of 16 debates at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association Tournament this weekend at the University of North Texas November 3. This is a nearly 70% win/loss rate for the squad. Maggie Cook Allen, Michael Rollins, Chip Myers, and Ryan Booth debated for SMU on the homecoming weekend.
Results can be viewed online here:
Rwanda's Debate Team
in front of James Farmer Jr.'s home in Marshall, Texas
Journalism major, Connor Pittman won first place in the novice division of the International Public Debate Association Tournament at Louisiana State University Shreveport this weekend. Pittman defeated Drury University in the final round after winning his octafinal, quarterfinal and semifinal round debate. The debate topic for his final round was: Resolved: The Congress should kill the BEZOS bill. The BEZOS bill would create penalties for companies employing workers on federal aid while offering low wages. Pittman was affirmative.
SMU won a number of significant awards including: first and second speakers overall in novice and junior varsity divisions, octafinalists in novice and varsity debate, and fifth place in team sweepstakes. SMU varsity debater Stephen Frantz was the top seed and undefeated after six preliminary rounds and lost his first elimination round. Chip Meyer advanced to the quarterfinal rounds of junior varsity debate. Ryan Booth advanced all the way to finals of junior varsity debate. He finished second place behind Drury University.
In International Public Debate, competitors have 30 minutes to respond to a topic of controversy by researching on the internet. They then can use notes to present their arguments to a judge. The argumentation period takes about 30 minutes. Students are evaluated on their arguments as well as speaking criteria including: delivery, courtesy, appropriate tone, organization, logic, support, cross examination, and refutation. Students are assigned a win or a loss and speaker points on a 40 point scale. Art Tay was top speaker in junior varsity and Price Morgan was top speaker in novice. SMU students completed 36 rounds of preliminary debates and won a record percentage of preliminary debates. LSUS is an important campus in IPDA debate. They will host the 2019 national championship tournament in the spring and they have historically been one of the strongest debate programs in this league of more than 200 colleges and universities across the nation.
SMU debate is coached by three part time coaches—Keith Milstead, Matthew Lucci, and Ross Sloan. The program is directed by Dr. Ben Voth an associate professor in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts.
in photo from left to right: Matthew Lucci, Price Morgan, Art Tay, Stephen Frantz, Chip Myers, Connor Pittman, Ryan Booth, and Ben Voth.
Matthew Lucci, Price Morgan, Art Tay Stephen Frantz, Chip Myers, Connor Pittman Ryan Booth, B. Voth