Be Involved with SCOM: A Two-Part Series on the Department’s Student Organizations

Part 2: Debate Team and Speech Team

The following introductions of both the Debate Team and Speech Team are from short interviews with the directors of both teams: Professor Michael Davis and  Professor Lee Mayfield. Both teams are open to anyone who is interested in joining! Both directors would love to be contacted for any students interested in either of the organizations.

Contact information for both teams are provided below. Anyone interested is strongly encouraged to contact both directors.

Professor Michael Davis (Debate Team)


Professor Lee Mayfield (Speech Team)



James Madison University Debate Team








What’s it all about?

Our debate program has two main activities, policy debate and public debate. The JMU Debate policy team is for those of you looking for a competitive activity that includes traveling, in-depth research, rigorous practice, critical thinking and problem-solving. We compete against any and all universities and colleges across the country; from the ivy leagues to state schools to community colleges.

What are the essential details?

Meetings are held twice a week: Mondays and Wednesdays. (Debaters also schedule numerous individual meetings)

The debate team focuses on debate centered around current issues of the day and we focus on a combination of research and argument development as we prepare for tournaments.

 “The JMU Debate Team is truly a family. We look out for each other and help each other prepare. Although awards are given out to individual debaters and teams we truly believe in the idea that “we win as a team”.”- Professor Michael Davis, JMU Debate


James Madison University Speech Team

speech team fall






What’s it all about?

The Speech Team began in the 1970’s. It has been nationally ranked eight times since it’s been established. In the past year the team was nationally ranked 22nd. There will be eight returning members and two incoming freshman in the following year. The speech team is a co-curricular activity, which means it can be taken for an one-hour course credit.

What are the essential details?

Meetings are held weekly. Tuesdays @ 6:30. Thursdays @ 6:30 for team peer coaching. (Each member is also encouraged to meet with at least one of the directors at least once a week).

“Students really get to learn time management and advocacy. Not only do I love watching the team’s performance weekly, I also love to see each member’s personal growth as individuals” Professor Lee Mayfield, JMU Speech

The team’s quote: “Performance Matters” – does not only imply competition-wise but also how individuals present themselves.