Southeastern News

Southeastern, Cameron hosting speech and debate tournament

DURANT, Okla. – The forensics programs of Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Cameron University and the Oklahoma Theta and Omicron chapters of Pi Kappa Delta will host the Storm Classic Swing Speech and Debate Tournament Friday through Sunday, September 29-October 1, on Southeastern’s Durant campus.

The Storm Classic Swing is a reiteration of Southeastern’s former national Savage Forensic Debate Tournament, which was held consecutively for 26 years from 1929 to 1955. After a brief interruption, the Savage Forensic continued into the early 1990s.

The Savage Forensic was the oldest and one of the most well-attended college debating tournaments in the entire nation. At its height in 1963, the national debate tournament hosted more than 45 schools from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana.

Associate professor Dr. Randy Clark serves as the tournament director. He is also advisor to Southeastern’s Speech and Debate Association and is seeking volunteers to assist in hosting the event.

Clark said, “Every speech and debate tournament solicits their home campus for judges. It is a great way for students from other schools to meet faculty and staff of the hosting institution and in turn for faculty and staff to see our own students in academic competition with students from other colleges and universities.”

On Friday, the Storm Classic will sponsor a National Parliamentary Debate tournament. Saturday and Sunday will feature National Forensics Association-Lincoln-Douglas debate tournament running concurrently with an American Forensics Association, National Individual Events tournament in the following speech categories:

Informative, Persuasive, Impromptu, After-Dinner and Extemporaneous Speaking; Communication Analysis; and Poetry, Drama, Dramatic Duo, Prose and Program of Oral Interpretation.

The Storm Classic will be held in the Russell Building, home of the John Massey School of Business. Faculty and staff interested in assisting with the event or just wanting to observe Southeastern students in action are asked to contact Clark at 580-745-2556 or

Clark said individuals may commit to judging for the duration of the tournament or just one day or combination of days. Judges may volunteer their services or receive a small stipend based on whether the event judged is a debate or individual event.

“You don’t need to have had any previous experience in judging speech or debate,” Clark said. “We are able to provide all interested faculty and staff with little or no speech and debate judging experience with a training DVD that will, in about an hour and a half, deliver the proper mechanics of judging individual speech and debate events. The DVD will detail what experienced judges do and how they critique individual and debate performances.”