Thursday night saw a fiery start to the annual inter-collegiate Palladian competition with the Oration event. Eager to win back the Cup, Drew’s put forward two outstanding performances, however devastatingly did not receive a place. As is always the case with Palladian competitions it is difficult to gauge what specifically the individual and subjective judges tend to favour, and unfortunately for us this time that was the undeniably strong performances from Women’s (1st place), Sancta (2nd place), and Wesley (3rd place).
The topic this year was ‘Good people are boring to write about,’ which brought forward some fascinating discussions regarding the dynamic realities of the media and the environment in which it is rapidly growing. Our first speaker, sophomore Robbie Ferguson, certainly had the crowd giggling with his humorous but powerful speech about the innate human emotions of fear, outrage, and anger that influence today’s print and the way we engage with it. Amongst many hysterical Trump jokes and comical points of self-detriment and self-promotion, Robbie pointed out the harsh truth that news stories which make readers angry are suddenly the norm and ‘a journalist’s job security is determined by how many click-throughs’ he or she receives. He ended his speech on an encouraging note that although the ‘media uses our nature against us’ we must resist giving in to negative emotions and share only heartwarming stories. For his second year competing in Oration, Robbie again represented Drew’s exquisitely.
After many other interesting arguments toying with the idea of good and bad people and their involvement in the media, our second speaker, fResher Xavier Eales, took the floor. He too kept the crowd entertained with abundant comic relief, as well as a compelling argument that stressed the importance of daring to be different and not giving into society’s expectation of ‘normal.’
Xavier pointed out how normal people hardly dominate the media but instead are replaced by the rebels, as ‘rebellion propels humanity.’ He urged the audience to channel their creativity without fear of judgment, in order to perhaps end up like the ‘different’ individuals who shaped the world such as Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela. Leaving us with a challenge to dare to fail and to dare to change things, Xavier executed a fantastic speech.
Overall, the competition on Thursday night was undeniably fierce. As colleges continue to produce more talented performances for each Palladian competition it remains pivotal that the crowds be there to support our Drew’s entrants – especially as we strive to regain the Cup! Thus take note that the next Palladian competition will be the solo vocal competition, on Thursday 30th March. See you there!
- Hilary Shannon (fr 2015)
Images courtesy of SAC Students’ Club Photography Club