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Speech and Debate

Welcome to the official website for the OCU Speech and Debate team. Our program has a rich tradition that goes all the way back to our historic 1931 debate with Wiley College. As featured in the film “The Great Debaters,” the OCU Speech and Debate team was the first all-white team ever to debate an all-black team south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Today OCU Speech and Debate continues its vision of inclusivity by encouraging students from all disciplines and backgrounds to join our team. We compete in a broad range of areas, including Parliamentary Debate, Limited Prep Speaking, and Individual Events. If you are interested in continuing your career, OCU is a great place to do it!

We believe that Speech and Debate is one of the best activities that a student can do. It engages you in active research and learning. You will thus come away from our program prepared to meet the next level of expectations in graduate school and/or your professional career. The university also offers generous scholarship support for students who participate in Speech and Debate.

If we are competing somewhere near you, let us know and meet up with us at a tournament.

About the Program

OCU Speech and Debate offers a dynamic format that allows students to pursue their own interests and to compete in a broad range of areas, including:

  • Parliamentary Debate
  • Platform Speech Public Speaking
  • Limited Prep Speaking
  • Individual Events

The program is open to students from any discipline, and time commitment levels are flexible to meet student needs. We always put academics first and hope to locate natural synergies that promote the success of our students as well as our team.

It is the quality of an OCU education that sets our team apart from the rest. The team emphasizes active research and teaches students to apply research methods across the performance speech debate spectrum.

Students will come away from our program better equipped than the average student, with a stronger understanding of next-level professional and/or graduate expectations.

Student Testimonial

Participating in debate has been a transformative experience for me. I walked onto the OCU Speech and Debate Team as a freshman with no prior experience. Since that time, the relationships and skills I have developed have been instrumental to my success academically and in laying a foundation for my future career.

When I came to college, I lacked basic public speaking skills as well as the ability to articulate my thoughts spontaneously. That skill set did not come quickly or easily, but it has served me well in many situations. I am now comfortable participating openly in my classes, and that same confidence has translated into internship opportunities on a gubernatorial election campaign and in the office of a U.S. Senator.

More important, however, are the people I have come to know through this activity. My debate coaches and partners have been tremendous mentors and role models, teaching me to be not only a better debater but also a better person. I look forward to maintaining those relationships as I continue my academic career, and I know that they will serve me well in the future just as they have up to this point.

Chance Johnson, 2015 Team

Contact Us

Mohamed Daadaoui

Chair of Political Science, History, Philosophy & Rhetoric

Petree College of Arts & Sciences
WC 223
(405) 208-5639