ORU debate team wins national honors

By Ally Powell ('13)

ORU Debate TeamAfter assembling the debate squad a year ago, two members of Oral Roberts University's debate team won honors during the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) Junior Varsity Division National Tournament.

"I was very shocked that we went undefeated and then won," says Joseph Jackson, who was paired with Sarah Sandford in the national tournament.

The national competition took place March 9-11 in Hutchinson, Kan. There were 84 competitors from 15 schools including ORU. Four students from the ORU debate squad attended the competition, winning second place in sweepstakes. This award is given to the team that scores the most points in an overall tournament. Jackson and Sandford won first place overall.

"Their achievement at the tournament was remarkable," says Molly Brown, assistant debate coach. "They did not loose a single ballot in the tournament. Every judge on each panel found in favor of their team. We basically took the tournament by storm."

In the final round, Jackson and Sandford took part in a value debate about whether or not the principle of human rights ought to take presence over conflicting national interests. They debated against Sterling College, a nationally ranked junior varsity team.

"We felt that we had actually lost to them," says Sandford. "Sterling College is a very good debate team, and [they] have won multiple titles."

Next season, the squad will continue to compete in junior varsity tournaments before having the opportunity to be titled a varsity team.