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Moot Court competition declares winner: Senior English and communication studies major Aimee Miller sets record with second win

October 24, 2014

Kallie DiTusa / The Courier - Professor Ira Smolensky and Judge McClintock listen to the arguments.

Arguments were presented, questions raised and a winner determined. The final round of Monmouth College’s Moot Court competition took place on Tuesday night wherein senior and Courier copy editor Aimee Miller was declared the winner.

“I like participating in Moot Court because it’s just a great experience,” said Miller.

“You get to meet some great alumni, talk to some awesome students and compete in a relevant activity that’s geared toward developing your speaking and critical thinking skills.

“It’s an activity that is not only a fun time, but allows you to grow on a personal level.”

In addition to Miller, the three other finalists included senior Corbin Beastrom, freshman Diana Rubi and senior Ryan Arndt. Miller has now won two years in a row.

This year’s competition focused on the constitutionality of affirmative action in college admissions. Participants presented their arguments and fielded questions from the two judges present: MC political science professor Ira Smolensky and Hon. Gregory K. McClintock, a retired circuit court judge for the ninth judicial circuit.

Miller’s confidence in debates comes not only from her participation in Moot Court but also stems from her experience as a member of MC’s debate team ScotSpeak.

“This year was very competitive,” Smolensky said.

“All the contestants displayed considerable ability. Winning the overall competition took a lot of skill and self-assurance. I would say the decisive factor was Aimee’s high level of comfort as a public speaker.”

When asked about the criteria that a judge looks for to determine a winner, Smolensky said, “We look for confident courtroom presence, solid understanding of the case at hand, well-constructed arguments and the ability to stand your ground under intense questioning.”

As Miller concludes her senior year in the spring, next fall’s competition will be wide open.

“If a student is considering doing Moot Court next year, my advice is simple: go for it,” Miller said. “It doesn’t matter what your major is or what you’re intending to do with your life. Moot Court is definitely worth it.”

Kallie DiTusa / The Courier - Senior Ryan Arndt presents his research.

Elizabeth Meyer
Courier News Editor

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