Senior Daniel Cody won the 2018 Edward Everett Prize in Oratory, an annual speech competition that focused this year on “National Security and Privacy: Principles for Achieving a Just Balance.”
This 18th annual competition was judged by President Larry Arnn, Professor of Politics Thomas West, and Professor and Chairman of Politics Mickey Craig.
“Arnn announced that he and the judges believed this to be one of the strongest set of competitors since the competition began,” said Kristin Kiledal, department chair of rhetoric and public addres and the event’s organizer. “The panel of preliminary judges was similarly impressed.”
Cody, Weaver, and Carozza were among five competitors who qualified for the contest’s final round out of 21 applicants. Other finalists included freshman Taryn Murphy and junior Ellen Friesen. Competitors created and memorized a speech on the assigned topic with a 10-minute time limit.
“I thoroughly enjoyed every round of the competition, and I am grateful for the opportunity. It is awesome to get a chance to present and defend your ideas,” Cody said.
His speech centered on the current approach of the government to record everything and then have the ability to access detailed reports when anyone falls under suspicion. This, he argued, calls for policies that will fix the surveillance programs.
He stated that people must recognize that these programs are only the vanguards to the new approach to law enforcement and national security. They are the representatives of the immense technologically enabled government power of mass surveillance.
To help explain the need for clear principles to guide our government’s use of mass surveillance and limit it, he provided the example of the precedence set by the United States government in the Telephone Records Program. Founded in 2001 after 9/11, President George W. Bush secretly authorized this program, which required that American telephone companies turn over all records each day so they could be accessed whenever. For each person who falls under terrorist suspicion, their telephone records are collected as well as all of the phone records of who that phone made contact with, as well as who those phones made contact with, as well as who those phones made contact with.
Cody ended his speech by asking the audience to imagine what sort of technology will be possible a year from now, with this precedence in mind. He provided a call to action for all Americans to prevent their rights from being washed away by adopting principles limiting the use of mass surveillance. Cody said these ideas are transparency, accountability, and utility. This means not dissolving what Americans consider to be right, holding programs responsible to the real courts, and doing so without increasing security of other rights.
Cody was awarded $3,000 for his presentation. Senior Jacob Weaver received $2,000 for second place, and junior Shiloh Carozza received $1,000 for third.
Weaver stressed the strict adherence of the 4th amendment as a means for creating the perfect compromise between privacy and security. This means ensuring that whenever the government is snooping around that it’s with probable cause. He ended his speech with a call for Americans to “hold our representatives accountable.”
Carozza’s speech focused on the need for government today to “play by the constitution.” She explained that by respecting individual liberty and the 4th amendment, those truly posing a threat to our country will be sought out and those who are innocent will retain their liberty.