“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson embodies the importance of public speaking, just as it embodies the Northern State University Speech and Debate Club.
Led by President Joshua Hinkemeyer, Vice President Corey Klatt, Secretary Joseph Kvale, and Faculty Advisor Dr. Anthony Wachs, the Speech and Debate Club has represented Northern State University at many tournaments across the U.S.
Typically, the team participates in four tournaments in the fall semester and four in the spring semester. The regional tournaments largely take place in Minnesota and North Dakota, but the team has traveled as far as Indianapolis, Indiana, and Athens, Ohio, for national tournaments.
Currently, the team only has one more tournament to participate in before the end of the season. This is the national tournament to be held in Lexington, Kentucky, from March 15-20.
Recently, Northern State University hosted the state tournament where the team received third place overall. Additionally, the duo of Hinkemeyer and Klatt and the duo of Harrison Homelvig and Michael Schliewe were quarter finalists in the tournament.
Collegiate debate has a wide range of events for students to participate in, including parliamentary debate, poetry, prose, impromptu speaking, informative speaking, extemporaneous speaking, ADS (after dinner speaking), dramatic interpretation, and duo interpretation. Students can compete in many different events as a part of a tournament, as many of Northern’s debaters do.
Northern’s Speech and Debate team represents the quality of the institution. This is largely the purpose of the team.
As Klatt stated, “It showcases the academic ability of the students at Northern.” Certainly, the team embodies some of the best and brightest minds that Northern has to offer.
These team members may be some of the most intelligent minds of Northern and they are by no means dull. Klatt states that the process of traveling to the tournaments is often the most enjoyable part of debate due to the antics and great conversation.
The Speech and Debate Club currently has about 15 members with about 12 regularly traveling to tournaments.
Although the tournament season is near a close, all students are welcome and encouraged to join if they have an interest in any of the events the team offers.
The team meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:15 p.m. in Dr. Wachs’ office (TC 351).