RSU Hosted Regional High School Speech Tournament

Students standing in hallwayThe Rogers State University Department of Communications and Office of Admissions worked together to host the Northeast Oklahoma 3A/4A OSSAA Regional Speech Tournament on Saturday, March 17, at RSU’s Claremore campus.

More than 180 students from 19 area high schools competed in events including prose, poetry, monologue, dramatic and humorous interpretation, dramatic and humorous duet, foreign and domestic extemporaneous speaking, among other acting and speaking events. Students could qualify in multiple events, and the tournament included nearly 300 entries this year. Members of the RSU Honors program and Communications Department student workers took various shifts to man the three campus buildings where the tournament took place.

During the daylong event, RSU Admissions set up tables in Baird Hall, Stratton Taylor Library and Preparatory Hall with information for students and parents on RSU’s academic programs, as well as tour contacts and financial aid opportunities.

Following the competition, the students, judges and parents moved to the Will Rogers Auditorium for the awards ceremony. RSU Admission prepared a brief program for the students before the 132 state qualifying spots were announced. The winners are scheduled to advance to the state tournament April 5-7. 

Cathy Coomer, RSU Assistant Professor of Communications, organized the event during the past three months along with the RSU Admissions staff and Brenda Neal, who co-chaired the event and serves as the speech coach for Verdigris High School.

“I was concerned at first about taking on such a big event, but the teachers involved in this tournament were so organized, that we basically were here to provide the facility and put out any small fires,” Coomer said. “I want to personally thank RSU Admissions, the Physical Plant, Campus Police, Sodexo and Source One for helping get this big event covered. From setting up tables, opening up classrooms and buildings to providing coffee for the teachers and keeping the restrooms clean, the day went very smoothly.”

Coomer also thanked Dr. Juliet Evusa and 10 of her honors students who volunteered, as well as RSU Communications Instructor Bruce Hartley and RSU student volunteers.

The event was another example of how campus departments can work with Admissions to help promote RSU, Coomer said.