Phoenix resident makes strong showing in debate tournament


CORVALLIS, Ore. - An Oregon State University student from Phoenix, Ariz., made it to the semifinal round of the Great Alaska Speakout.

Renee Rider, a senior in wildlife science, teamed up with Kathy LaVeine, an OSU sophomore, to place in the top four among the nation's top collegiate speech teams at the Anchorage competition.

"We did really well. It was a round-robin tournament with the top 10 teams in the country and we made it to the top four in the nation," said Rider, a 1993 Central High School graduate.

"This competition featured the top 10 teams in the nation in parliamentary debate," said Trischa Knapp, OSU director of forensics and assistant professor of speech communication. "This is a most impressive finish for the team, since it will make the OSU speech team one of the early season favorites."

Among the competitors were Texas Tech and California's Point Loma Nazarene.

A transfer student from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Rider traveled with the OSU team last spring to the International Forensics Association Championships in Lisbon, Portugal. In Lisbon, Rider placed third in parliamentary debate and fifth in informative speaking.

Continuing a 60-year tradition at OSU, the Forensics Team involves members from all majors and schools on campus. Each year, students compete in state, regional and national intercollegiate tournaments. Events include parliamentary debate, individual public speaking formats such as informative, persuasive, and after-dinner, as well as a range of oral interpretation categories involving prose, poetry, and drama.