Franklin Debating Society Wins Winter Tournament

Feb 01, 2018


studentsThe Randolph-Macon College Franklin Debating Society participated in the Collegiate Forensic Association's Winter Tournament, which was held January 26-27, 2018 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Randolph-Macon tied for first place, and individual students won numerous awards.

English and Communication Studies Professor Ted Sheckels, who coaches the Franklin Debating Society, says, "The team enjoyed the tough competition as well as the opportunity to visit our neighbor to the North and tour both the city and the Parliament building there."

The following students won awards:

In parliamentary debate, Sean Gordon '19 and Caroline Kouneski '19 won 2nd Place, Sydney Hinkle '18 and Matthew DeLancey '21 won 5th, and a hybrid team made up of Forrest Parsons '18 and a debater from another college won 4th. Gordon was selected as 1st Place Speaker, and Kouneski and Parsons tied for 6th.

All six R-MC teams had 3-1 records, except Gordon and Kouneski, who were 4-0. In all—including the hybrid team—R-MC was 22-5 in parliamentary debate.

In Lincoln-Douglas debate, Melissa Pritchard '21 won 3rd Place, and Gordon won 6th.

In the oral interpretation events, Bridget Maas '20 won 2nd and Lauren Grace Wygal '19 won 4th in poetry; Wygal won 5th in prose; Amanda Baumgartner '19 won 4th, Wygal won 5th, and Hinkle won 6th in drama; Mass and Brianna Ciuffo '20 won 4th, Maas and DeLancey won 5th, and Kyle Cherry '18 and Gordon won 6th in dramatic duo; and Kouneski won 4th and Maas won 5th in declamation.

In the prepared public speaking events, Gordon won 1st, Mass won 5th, and Brianne Habit '19 won 6th in persuasive; Wygal won 2nd in humorous; and Kouneski won 1st, Habit won 3rd, Wygal won 5th, and Hinkle won 6th in communication analysis.

In the limited prep events, Gordon won 1st in impromptu.

In pentathlon competition (five events, spread among different categories), Mass won 6th, Kouneski won 5th, and Gordon won 4th.

Communication Studies Professor Ruth Beerman serves as assistant debate and forensics coach for the Franklin Debating Society.

"I'm very proud of our students," she says. "Many students tried new events, expanding their repertoire and experiences. All 15 students contributed to our overall squad success of tying for first place. And, we got to experience a wonderful cultural exchange, including hockey, poutine, seeing how Canada supports their dual official languages of English and French, and a Parliament tour."

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.