CU Forensics team gains valuable experience in recent tournaments

Cameron University's forensics team gained valuable experience in two recent tournaments under the guidance of Daniel Schabot, CU Director of Forensics. On October 10, Schabot and an eight-member debate team travelled to Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas for the Sunflower-Sooner Swing tournament, where seven of the team members attended their first college tournament. The CU team competed with more than 20 colleges, including the University of Nebraska and the University of Oklahoma. 

Freshman communication major Tabetha Kautzman of Marlow and her partner, freshman psychology major Jordan Howell of Duncan, finished with a 3-2 record in Parliamentary debate. Although they failed to advance to the elimination stage of the tournament on a tie breaker, Kautzman stated that "debate was an amazing experience." Communication majors Jacob Pahcheka of Walters and Lamod McFadden of Phoenix, AZ, also competed.  Pahcheka believes that "his life experience helps give him an edge against younger teams."

Cameron has one of the most diverse teams in the country.  St. Kitts & Nevis natives Javon Southwell and Pierre Liburd, both sophomore business administration majors, used knowledge of their home country to advantage during their debate. When affirming the resolution "This House should adopt the Kyoto Protocol," they proposed a plan whereby the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis would adopt the accord, dumbfounding their opponents with this approach. 

Freshman communication major Jordan Scribner of Tulsa tied for seventh place in persuasive speaking in her first college tournament. Sophomore computer science major Bhupendra Acharya of Katmandu, Nepal, who won a national speaking competition in his native country, experienced a first with his debut United States collegiate tournament.  Acharya commented that his "first speech tournament in the USA was completely different" from contests in Nepal.

"I'm proud of this young team," Schabot said following the debut foray of the semester. "It was a tough weekend competitively but the team is ready to come back fighting." 

And so they did, as the team earned a third place finish at the Ozark Fall Classic tournament hosted by John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR on October 18-19.  The team also took third place in the individual speaking events sweepstakes.  More than 15 colleges and universities competed at this regional tournament, including Northeastern State University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Tulsa.

Cameron's young debaters continued to improve, as Kautzman and Howell finished as semi-finalists in novice parliamentary debate with a 4-2 record in preliminary rounds before losing to Southwest Baptist University.  Southwell and Liburd finished fifth in the same division with a 3-3 record.  Pahcheka and McFadden finished with a 1-5 record in the varsity division.

In public debate, sophomore communication major Michael Faggett, Dallas, TX, finished as a quarterfinalist in the varsity division, amassing a 4-2 record before being eliminated.  Acharya finished with a 2-4 record in the novice division.

In individual events, freshman Alex Wozencraft of Mannford took top honors in prose interpretation, adding a first place trophy to the national high school championship he won last spring. Other CU team members who placed in individual events were Faggett, second place in extemporaneous speaking and sixth in impromptu speaking; Scribner, fourth in persuasive speaking; Kautzman, fifth in extemporaneous speaking; Pahcheka, fifth in communication analysis; and Acharya, fifth in informative speaking.  

Cameron next travels to Tyler, Texas for a tournament sponsored by the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association in early November.  For more information on CU's forensic team, contact Director of Forensics Daniel Schabot at dschabot@cameron.edu.

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October 27, 2008
PR# 08-188