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Franklin Debating Society Competes at CFA Tournament

Mar 09, 2017

Students in Franklin debate society3/9/17

The Randolph-Macon College Franklin Debating Society concluded its competitive season March 3-4, 2017 at the Collegiate Forensic Association’s (CFA) spring tournament in Ocean City, Maryland.

"In a tough and tight three-way competition for first place, R-MC came in third," says English and Communication Studies Professor Ted Sheckels, who coaches the Franklin Debating Society. "We're very proud of our students, many of whom won individual awards."

"The Ocean City tournament was very competitive," says Communication Studies Professor Ruth Beerman, who serves as assistant debate and forensics coach. "A couple students missed advancing to a final round by an extremely small margin. So, our 19 tournament awards, and eight year-long awards, demonstrate our students' hard work and growth in their speech and debate performances."

The following individuals won awards during the CFA spring tournament:
Poetry Interpretation: Lauren Grace Wygal '19, second
Prose Interpretation: Karalynn Thomas '17, second
Dramatic Interpretation: Lauren Grace Wygal, sixth
Dramatic Duo Interpretation: Caroline Kouneski '19 and Karalynn Thomas, fourth
Declamation (interpretation of a noteworthy speech): Caroline Kouneski, fourth
Persuasive Speaking: Sean Gordon '19, second; Brianne Habit '19, sixth
Communication Analysis: Caroline Kouneski, first
Impromptu Speaking: Lia Clark '20, fourth
Extemporaneous Speaking: Sean Gordon, fifth; Chris Cox '19, sixth
Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Sean Gordon, sixth
Parliamentary Debate Team Awards: Caroline Kouneski and Sean Gordon, fourth; Lia Clark and Sydney Hinkle '17, sixth
Parliamentary Debate Individual Awards: Sean Gordon, second; Caroline Kouneski, sixth
Pentathlon: Caroline Kouneski, first; Sean Gordon, fifth

At the final tournament, CFA also gave year-long awards in all categories:
Dramatic Interpretation – Lauren Grace Wygal, second
Persuasive Speaking – Sean Gordon, second
Communication Analysis – Caroline Kouneski, second
Impromptu Speaking – Lia Clark, second
Extemporaneous Speaking – Sean Gordon, first
Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Sean Gordon, second
Parliamentary Debate – Caroline Kouneski and Sean Gordon, first

"After winning the overall year-long award (the Welch-Strine Cup) five out of the past six years, we finished this year as runner-up," says Sheckels. "This is a very talented team, with many first- and second-year students, and we are determined to win back the Cup in 2017-18."

Reflecting on the year, Beerman states, "I attribute our individual and team successes in large part to our supportive community and teamwork. Our three graduating seniors, Stephanie Clute, Emily Durando, and Martin Yoder, all provided leadership and support. A few examples include: being a team player by partnering with anyone for parliamentary debate or duo interpretation, providing feedback on fellow students' work before competitions, and contributing to a positive team environment, boosting morale. For their contributions, all three graduating members earned the recognition of being an outstanding debate and forensic participant. I look forward to next year, as I'm confident we will have another great team community and competitive success."

The Franklin Debating Society
Fostering the invaluable skills of public speaking and reasoned discourse, the Franklin Debating Society also gives students the opportunity to participate in lively debate competitions. Franklin Debating Society members compete intercollegiately in debate and a range of forensics activities. The Society annually hosts the touring British debaters as well as a 19th Century-style debating event.