NDSU Lincoln Speech and Debate Society Wins Small Team Sweepstakes at Tournament

On February 16th and 17th the NDSU Lincoln Speech and Debate Society competed at the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association Open Borders State Tournament, held at Concordia College in Moorhead. They competed against nine other teams from colleges in Minnesota and North Dakota.

All four members of the team did well at the tournament: Sam Rezac and Nathan Rateau were both Quarterfinalists in Parliamentary Debate, Sam Rezac & Jane Gudmundson won first place in the Duo Interpretation event, Nathan Rateau won third place in the Individual Parliamentary Speaker Sweepstakes, fourth place in Extemporaneous Speaking, and fifth place in Impromptu, Eliot Palmer won fourth place in Poetry, and Jane Gudmundson won fifth place in Dramatic Interpretation and third place in Programmed Oral Interpretation. Altogether the team took first place in the Small Team Sweepstakes and scored fourth place out of all of the other teams in the tournament.

“It was a pretty good day for our team, especially since we’re just a team of four, and teams like the University of Minnesota are much larger and very well-developed,” said Jane Gudmundson, the president of the Speech and Debate Society. Gudmundson has been participating in Speech and Debate since the seventh grade, and this is her second year on the team at NDSU as well as her second year as president. As president, she is in charge of recruitment, works with the team’s coach to oversee team members, and helps team members with their speeches for competitions.

Gudmundson said she thinks this past weekend’s tournament was one of the best memories she’s made since joining the team since everyone did so well in their events. It was especially exciting for her when she and her partner, Sam Rezac, got first place in the Duo Interpretation event with their speech, which she hadn’t had time to prepare for as much as her other speeches. “It was very unexpected since I was just running around the whole day and didn’t have time to compare us to other duos.”

Most people picture competitive speech and debate as persuasive speeches or debates, as the name implies, but that’s not all there is to it; other events include Dramatic Interpretation, which Gudmundson took first place in at the tournament, and Poetry and Prose Interpretation. “I take a form of literature and cut it down into a ten-minute speech…it’s kind of like a one-woman show type of thing,” said Gudmundson. Other events that NDSU’s team participated in were Extemporaneous Speaking, Parliamentary Debate, and Impromptu Speaking, among others.

The Speech and Debate Society is still recovering from the post-COVID lull in club participation, and in an effort to get the club back on its feet Gudmundson has put a lot of effort into recruiting students from all majors during her time as club president. “Fun fact, we don’t have a single communications major on the team—we have people from all majors,” she said. Members of the club don’t just get to practice their public speaking and presentation skills—they also receive a COMM 150 credit.

Anyone interested in joining the Speech and Debate Society or learning more about it can email Gudmundson at jane.gudmundson@ndsu.edu.

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