Dordt College News

Dordt College debate team takes third place

March 19, 2014

In its first year of competition, Dordt College earned a third place finish in debate at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational held at Cal Baptist in Riverside, California, on March 8 through 10. The 2014 tournament included teams from 26 schools that are members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

Dordt competed in Novice Parliamentary Debate, open to students in their first year of collegiate competition, and the school took third place in the Division III (small entry) Debate Sweeps.

In parliamentary-style debate, students are assigned a topic and a position, and then have 15 minutes to prepare their arguments before giving alternating speeches supporting their position over the next 40 minutes.

“Because students don’t know what they will be debating ahead of time, they need to keep up on all current events; and because most of the speeches are seven to eight minutes, students really have to hone their extemporaneous speaking capabilities,” says Donald Roth, Dordt College professor of criminal justice and debate team captain.

Dordt College freshman Courtney De Wolde took eighth place overall as an individual debater.

“Being part of Dordt’s debate team has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had at Dordt yet,” said De Wolde, who had no debate experience before this year. “The debate competition was a learning experience as well as a lot of fun. Debate Team is a great way for students to explore their talents and figure out what gifts God has given them.”

Dordt students in the tournament included: DJ Beckwith (Pierre, South Dakota), Ranae Boonstra (Hull, Iowa), Courtney De Wolde (Abbotsford, British Columbia), James Rylaarsdam (Sioux Center, Iowa), Jordan Swanson (Winnebago, Minnesota), Adam Vander Stoep (Doon, Iowa), Lee Ver Burg (Rock Valley, Iowa), and Justin Vos (Lynnville, Iowa). Additional club members include Chris Slice (Hull, Iowa) and Michael Jansen (Tucson, Arizona).

On March 14 and 15, Dordt also competed at the 32nd Annual Novice Nationals held at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, advancing to the quarterfinal rounds. Those competing included Ver Berg, Vander Stoep, Boonstra, and Vos.

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