Florida College Oratory Union Wins Awards at Tournament

March 29, 2022
Written by Jeb Black, Junior in Communication Specializing in Mass Media

On Thursday, March 3rd, 2022, the Florida College Oratory Union departed campus for their last tournament of the school year, held in Ocean City, Maryland. For most of the team it was only their second in-person tournament, after the pandemic caused most of last year’s competitions to be held virtually. For new members, like Emily Burke and Andrew Eskut, this new experience left them reflecting on teamwork, team bonding, and improvisation.

“One thing about my teammates that stuck with me is Ben’s idea of ‘Look good, feel good, do good,’” said Burke. “I think it’s important to look confident so you can feel prepared for life and to help others.”

Being a freshman and new debater, Eskut worked well with his partner and team captain, Ethan Crozier. The two were able function well as a team, thinking quick on their feet to create interesting, and sometimes comedic, debates.

“The most unique experience was when Ethan and I turned a debate that was supposed to be about the election in 2024 into a debate about why Trump would be the coolest person in 2024,” said Eskut.

Being alert and adaptive is an important part of being on Oratory Union, which is something Robert Grode, a junior, took away from the competition.

“We can recite a speech a thousand times,” Grode said, “but once we step into that room with the judges there, we may have to change the entire way we perform the piece, just to get that edge over our competitors.”

This alertness is a skill many on the team are glad to have developed. Andrew Eskut highlighted the ability to speak with little-to-no preparation as something he believes will greatly benefit him in a future career.

Florida College’s team performed very well at the March tournament. Every competitor made it to finals in at least one category. The team finished in second place overall.