SMU Speech & Debate Team

We equip individuals to better have their voice through a program of speech and debate activity.

This page communicates the message and identity of speech and debate activity at Southern Methodist University. Building on the life model of James Farmer Jr.-- the great debater-- we seek to

Operating as usual

12/28/2023

Here is a four minute video of our great activity in 2023. We are doing more than ever to equip individuals to have their voice around the world and here at home:

11/05/2023

SMU debaters advanced 4 of 7 competitors here at LSUS among 18 other universities and more than 150 competitors:

10/13/2023

Great opportunity.

📣 Announcing the 99th Annual Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest Topic: Chiseled in Stone - Iconic Texas Architecture!

Texas’ list of architectural treasures is long and diverse. While their images are emblazoned upon our mind, what are the stories behind them and who were the creators responsible for some of Texas’ most iconic architecture?

These structures aren’t simply buildings, but carry a narrative, history, and purpose that serve as a biography of Texas … Chiseled in Stone.

At the 99th Annual Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest we’ll be looking to you to highlight some of the state’s most significant buildings and unveil the legacy of Texas’ must-see structures and the architects of their greatness.

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS NOVEMBER 7!

* Compete to win up to $5,000 in scholarship prizes!!!

For more information, visit http://www.battleofflowers.org/events/oratorical-contest/.

Our Oratorical Contest is the oldest college level forensics contest in Texas, having been held annually on a topic of Texas history since 1926. BOFA is proud to support the education and collegiate forensics experience of our winners through prize money awarded to the top five finalists and their institutions. Our contest is open to undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a Texas university or college.




Texas Speech
Texas Speech Communication Association - TSCA
UNT Debate
McMurry University
Baylor University
Baylor Communication
SMU Speech & Debate Team
TCU Department of Communication Studies
TCU Speech & Debate
Texas Southern University Debate Team
Texas A&M Speech and Debate
Texas A&M University
TAMUK Speech and Debate Team
Texas Tech Speech and Debate Camp
Texas Tech University
U.T.S.A. Debate Team
UTSA Debate Team
UTSA Department of Communication
Trinity University Humanities Collective
University of Houston Policy Debate
Rice University Speech and Debate, the George R. Brown Forensic Society
OLLU - Our Lady of the Lake University
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin
Communication Studies-UT Austin
CommStudies Txstate
Texas State University
Abilene Christian University
Dallas Baptist University
Palo Alto College
Prairie View A&M University
Sam Houston State University
SHSU Speech and Debate
San Antonio College
Schreiner University
Southwestern University
Stephen F. Austin State University
St. Mary's University
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Wiley College Journalism Club
University of the Incarnate Word

05/03/2023

Our 2022-2023 report on activity as explained by Director Dr. Ben Voth [less than 5 minutes]

Photos from SMU Speech & Debate Team's post 03/25/2023

Competed successfully at IPDA nationals in Boise Idaho winning 68% of their 40 preliminary debates. Kaleb simes made it to the final four of varsity.

Photos from SMU Speech & Debate Team's post 02/13/2023

SMU Debate Takes Second at DBU
February 12, 2023

SMU debate took four major second place awards at the Dallas Baptist university debate tournament (February 10-12): Second place team sweepstakes, second place individual sweepstakes, second speaker in novice debate, and second place varsity division. SMU finished third in overall sweepstakes points.

14 SMU students contributed to the strong finish against a dozen other colleges and universities including: Abilene Christian University, LSUS, University of Arkansas, University of North Texas and University of Texas at Dallas. Mississippi State University finished ahead of SMU in the sweepstakes awards and Abilene Christian University defeated SMU in the final round of varsity debate on a 2-1 decision.
Eric Ryan and Hailey Hazen were undefeated in preliminary rounds of team debate going 4-0 and advancing to the semifinals.

SMU debaters were: Sarah Mende, Daniel Abraham, Evangeline Bulick, Davis Lynn, Eric Ryan, Hailey Hazen, Kaleb Simes, Kasey Baugh, Maggie Cook Allen [alumni], Taylor Enslin [alumni], Diego Perez, and Victoria Phillips. Thatcher Dunlap was a student judge and debate assistant.

SMU debaters were coached by Keith Milstead, Ross Sloan and Dr. Ben Voth.

Novice

Sarah Mende 3-3
Daniel Abraham 4-2 seed 8— semifinalist in Novice
Evangeline Bulick 5-1 seed 3— quarter finalist in Novice; second speaker

JV
Davis Lynn 2-4

Varsity
Eric Ryan 5-1 seed 2— second place Varsity
Hailey Hazen 3-3 seed 11
Kaleb Simes 4-2 seed 6— third place varsity

Pro
Kasey Baugh 1-5
Maggie cook Allen 3-3— quarterfinalist in professional
Taylor Enslin 3-3

Team
Eric Ryan & Hailey Hazen 4-0 semifinalists in team
Diego Perez Victoria Phillips 0-4

Overall
37-31
54% win loss

Varsity win loss
12/18
66%

For more information contact director:

Dr. Ben Voth
[email protected]

12/28/2022

Check out our 2022 year in review video [3 minutes]

Photos from SMU Speech & Debate Team's post 12/04/2022

We will host a live stream of our campus debate Tuesday December 6 at 7 pm. We will stream the opening and closing arguments by debaters Hailey Hazen and Kaleb Simes.

The topic is SMU’s campus carry policy.

Coolidge Cup Qualifier for Debate in Dallas | Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation 11/14/2022

Please join us on the SMU Campus Saturday December 3 for the Coolidge Cup Debate Qualifier. Several high school debaters will qualify for our national Coolidge Championship in July.

I am looking for excellent high school competitors and local judges for this special event. Check out these details for more information:

://coolidgefoundation.org/debate/coolidge-cup-qualifier-for-debate-1/

Coolidge Cup Qualifier for Debate in Dallas | Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation Coolidge Cup Qualifier for Debate in Dallas There are several ways to earn an invitation to compete in debate at the Coolidge Cup. One way to try to earn an invitation is to compete in the Coolidge Cup Qualifier for Debate in Dallas, which is an in-person tournament run by the Coolidge Foundation in...

Photos from SMU Speech & Debate Team's post 10/16/2022

John Shriver and Daniel Abraham advanced to elimination rounds at Louisiana Tech University among 58 competitors. Shriver made it to octofinals and Daniel is in finals.

Photos from SMU Speech & Debate Team's post 09/26/2022

SMU has two semifinalists at Lee College Debate Tournament

SMU debaters advanced to the semifinals of novice and junior varsity levels of the International Public Debate Association tournament at Lee College this weekend (September 23-25). Hailey Hazen advanced to the semifinals of junior varsity and Yazan Naseef advanced to the semifinals of novice. Eric Ryan and Hailey Hazen advanced to the quarterfinals of team debate on Friday.

John Shriver advanced to the quarterfinals of novice before being passed over by another mustang debater (Naseef). Shriver was the fourth seed overall after winning six of seven preliminary rounds. Evangeline Bulick advanced to the octafinals of novice as the number three debater—losing only one of her seven preliminary rounds. Sarah Mende also advanced to the octafinals after winning five of her preliminary rounds. Daniel Abraham won a novice speaker award along with Evangeline Bulick. This weekend SMU Debate celebrated 100 years of women participating in SMU Debate.

Varsity debater Eric Ryan advanced to the quarter final elimination rounds after winning four of his seven preliminary rounds. SMU Debate president Kaleb Simes had a 3-4 record in prelims for varsity. SMU alumni Maggie Cook Allen and Taylor Enslin competed in the professional division and finished as the 5th and 7th seeds in the division. SMU competed in all five divisions of the tournament: team, novice, junior varsity, varsity, and pro. SMU won major awards in four of the divisions.

Ten SMU debaters completed 78 rounds of debate in 36 hours. They won 56% of their preliminary round debates. Three SMU debaters were attending their first college debate tournament ever and all three new debaters advanced to elimination rounds including one semifinal round for Naseef. For each round, students have a new topic with only 30 minutes to use the internet to prepare arguments. Students must do an equal mix of affirmative and negative debates throughout the day.

The team was coached by Keith Milstead and Ryan Booth. Booth is the defending 2022 World Champion of IPDA debate. Milstead is the president of IPDA debate and has won multiple national championships in the IPDA league as an undergraduate student. SMU will compete again in Louisiana during the weekend of October 14. SMU will also host a public debate regarding Abbott vs. O’Rourke in Meadows O’Donnell auditorium on October 12 at 7pm.

SMU Speech and Debate is sponsored by Dedman College and collaborates with Honors program in Clements Hall. SMU Speech and Debate has a pedagogical mission of equipping individuals to have their voice. The program is directed by Dr. Ben Voth, professor of rhetoric.

For more information, contact Dr. Voth at [email protected]

09/25/2022

SMU is at our first tournament of the year at Lee College in Houston. Hailey Hazen and Eric Ryan advanced to quarterfinals of team debate. We await results for our one on one competitors who will face elimination rounds tomorrow after completing 7 prelim rounds today. SMU debaters have done over 75 debates so far this weekend.

Thanks to Ryan Booth and Keith Milstead for coaching this weekend.

09/14/2022

We completed our first public debate of the semester tonight. More than 30 people attended including numerous Dallas area community members. Maggie Cook Allen and Hailey Hazen did a great job debating the resolution: there should be a federal right to abortion.

The audience vote was 18-9 against having a federal right to abortion. We hope to have another public debate regarding midterm elections in October.

06/09/2022

What is SMU debate doing this summer?

Dr. Voth leaves June 17 for one week of work in Nigeria. He will be training dozens of Nigerian high school teachers how to teach debate. This will hopefully establish the basis for a national completion in summer 2023.

On July 1 Dr. voth travels to Vermont to help conduct the Coolidge cup celebrating the only US President born on the 4th of July by having a national championship high school tournament. Dozens of debaters advanced from regional qualifiers such as one at SMU in December to be eligible for the competition.

Our debaters are in Europe and the United States doing various academic and internship projects. We have three new officers including President Kaleb Simes, VP Hailey Hazen and Treasurer Eric Ryan.

Dr. Voth will also be working on his fifth book concerning the arguments and rhetoric of Presidents Wilson, Harding and Coolidge. The book will be submitted to the publisher September 30.

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SMU Debate and ASpeechSMU

This page communicates the message and identity of speech and debate activity at Southern Methodist University. Building on the life model of James Farmer Jr.-- the great debater-- we seek to equip individuals to have their voice. SMU has won four national debate championships and a Texas state championship. We are committed to the value of debate as not only a competitive model but a basis for improving society.

Videos (show all)

Here is a four minute video of our great activity in 2023.  We are doing more than ever to equip individuals to have the...
Our 2022-2023 report on activity as explained by Director Dr. Ben Voth [less than 5 minutes]
Check out our 2022 year in review video [3 minutes]
We had a great 2021-2022 year.  Check it out in this 2 minute video
We congratulate our seniors on their excellent accomplishments.  These are only a few of their many accomplishments over...
SMU Debate Year 2021

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Southern Methodist University247 Umph Lee
Dallas, TX
75275
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