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University of Central Missouri
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UCM Debaters Return with Montgomery Cup

UCM Debaters Return with Montgomery Cup

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG -03/21//2007 - UCM's "Talking Mules," members of the UCM debate team, recently returned from the British Isles with their seventh consecutive victory in defense of the Montgomery Debate Cup of the British Isles.

Faced Six Team from English Speaking Union

UCM's debaters faced six debate unions selected by the English Speaking Union, the organization governing all university and high school debate competitions in the United Kingdom. The debaters were accompanied by Jack Rogers, UCM debate coach and associate professor of speech communication.

Victorious with Four Wins, Two Losses

The U.S. team was victorious in its first debate with London City University's School of Law on Feb. 22, followed by a second Feb. 23 victory over Oxford University. UCM suffered its first loss to Edinburgh University on Feb. 26, followed by a second loss to St. Andrew's University on March 2.

The Talking Mules re-entered the win column to claim the cup with a win over Aberdeen University on March 3, and a final win over Glasgow University on March 7, claiming the cup with four wins to the two by teams from the British Isles.

Four Students Represent UCM

Representing the U.S. in the Montgomery Cup competition were UCM students Janis McCambridge, a junior accounting major from Lee's Summit; Michael Carey, a senior political science major from Warrensburg; Amanda Bass, a graduate students in communications from Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.; and Ryan Morehead, a graduate theatre students from Lee's Summit.

Gain Experience in Worlds Format Debate

The UCM debaters gained experience in worlds format debate, which is based on the British Parliamentary extemporaneous style of debate. Instead of debating a preset topic with research data at hand, students are given a topic and 15 minutes to prepare, requiring them to rely on their own knowledge and expertise.

"You have to think on your feet, and when you speak, you have to be right," Morehead said. "It's a combination of competition and pedagogy, and you definitely become more confident each time you participate."

Variety of Topics Debated

Rogers noted that topics for the debates ranged from domestic policy and world politics to more lighthearted and humorous.

"That range of topics presented excellent opportunities for our students to exercise their skills," Rogers said. "They came home with valuable experiences, which only add to UCM's debate program. I think it sends a clear message that our debate program can compete on the world stage."

Opportunity to Study British, American Debating Styles

The Montgomery Cup was initiated in 1996 by Rogers and Treavor Sauther, then the convenor general of the English Speaking Union, to develop a forum to allow British and American students to study the two styles of debate.

debate team

Members of the Talking Mules debate team, pictured with the Montgomery Cup, are, left to right, Ryan Morehead and Amanda Bass; Jack Rogers, debate coach; and Janis McCambridge and Michael Carey.