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The school has announced the topic of the Edward Everett Prize in Oratory: “National Security and Privacy: Prin­ciples for Achieving a Just Balance.”

The 18th annual com­pe­tition, hosted by the Provost’s Office and the department of rhetoric and public address, is open to all under­graduate stu­dents. The first place prize is $3,000, second place is $2,000, and third place is $1,000.

“It’s really estab­lished to help move forward our mission,” tour­nament director and chair­woman of the rhetoric and public address department Kirstin Kiledal said. “Our stu­dents undertake some of the doing to put forth their ideas.”

Kiledal said the com­pe­tition arises out of the provost’s office because par­tic­i­pation is open to the college’s entire student body. Judges have ranged in the past from speech coaches and com­munity members in the first round, to College Pres­ident Larry Arnn and Don Tocco, a sup­porter of the college, in the last round.

Junior Ryan Kelly Murphy won the oratory last year and took second place the year before when she was a freshman. She said she is sur­prised more stu­dents have gotten involved in the program in the past.

“I think that public speaking is a lost art; not a lot of people do it or try it,” Murphy said. “When we’re reading the great books, so many of them are speeches, and that’s so integral to western civ­i­lization. It’s a cul­mi­nation of the skills, virtues, history, and pol­itics we’re learning at Hillsdale, we can put into practice.”

Junior Shiloh Carozza will be com­peting in this year’s debate and agreed it offers a new way to apply her edu­cation.

“You get to write essays all the time for classes, but how often do you get to get up there and express what you think besides with ink and paper?” she said.

Carozza signed up for the first time for this year’s debate. She said the topic is one that not enough people in gov­ernment are talking about.

“I think it’s per­tinent because we have ques­tions going around because of ter­rorism,” she said. “And I def­i­nitely think it’s a good question.”

She said about her stance on the topic, “I think the Con­sti­tution has to be a big part of it. You have to look to the rules of the game.”

The deadline for appli­cation is Friday, Feb. 9. The pre­lim­inary com­pe­tition takes place Feb. 22, and the final round is on March 20 at 11 a.m.

Ryan Kelly Murphy won the Everett Oratory Com­pe­tition on Tuesday. Matthew Kendrick | Col­legian