NSU 2015-16 Debate Team. Photo7 courtesy of NSU Speech and Debate Facebook page.
On March 17, the NSU Speech and Debate Team traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, to participate in the Pi Kappa Delta National Forensics Tournament, in which juniors Joshua Hinkemeyer and Corey Klatt placed second in the nation. This is the highest that Northern has placed in this tournament in quite a long time.
There were a total of 86 schools present from all over the nation, with Northern sending five teams of two people each. When the teams first arrived, they were assigned a room and were then ushered into an auditorium where the topic for the debate was announced. As soon as the topic was announced, teams had 20 minutes to put together their arguments. This same process continued until there were only two teams left.
After the first six preliminary rounds, the top 16 teams were placed in the octo-finals, then the remaining eight in the quarter-finals, the final four in the semi-finals, and finally, the last two in the finals.
The topic in the final round of debates was “The United States Federal Government should increase the end strength of the US military.” Klatt and Hinkemeyer’s opponents were a pair from Naperville, Illinois.
Klatt provided the inside scoop on their debate preparation process. First, they figure out which of them knows more about the topic, and that person becomes the “lead,” or first speaker. Klatt informed me that he generally takes the more political topics.
Klatt commented on his experience, saying, “It was an amazing experience to be able to represent NSU at an event of this size and to demonstrate the academic ability of Northern’s students on a national level.”
Hinkemeyer found the experience at nationals to be particularly rewarding and a positive reflection on Northern State University. “The experience was really amazing,” said Hinkemeyer. “To be considered the second best in the entire country and to know that we have beaten the best really speaks to the quality education you get at Northern. Our school went up against Division 1 schools and came out victorious. I couldn’t be prouder of being Wolf.”