Alice M. House Speech Contest


The Alice M. House Speech Contest is a competition held annually in the Communication program. The contest, which awards $1500.00 in monetary prizes for first through fifth place, is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors across the University of Cincinnati. Established in 1892 by Major Frank M. Jones, a member of the U.C. Board of Directors, the contest is now sponsored by a bequest made to the University of Cincinnati in 1924 by Alice M. House.

For further information, please contact contest director, Professor LisaMarie Luccioni at 513-556-4415.

  • Eligibility:
    • All University of Cincinnati Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.
  • Prizes:
      1st Place= $400
      2nd Place= $300
      3rd Place= $200
      4th Place= $100
      5th Place= $75
      6th Place= $75
  • Topic:
    • "To what extent should content posted on social media be granted free speech protection?"
  • Dates:
    • Prelim Round 1: Tuesday 02/27 | 12:30pm-2pm
    • Prelim Round 2:Thursday 03/01 | 12:30pm-2pm
    • Final Round: Tuesday 03/06 | 12:30pm-2pm
  • Registration: TBA


1. The speech must be persuasive in nature

2. Time limit of 7-9 minutes (disqualified if under or over time)

3. Delivery must be extemporaneous (prepared not memorized)

4. Notes are optional (2 note cards OR 1 sheet of brief notes)

5. Registration with speech outline due 2/22 in McMicken 137

6. Must be a UC sophomore, junior or senior to compete

Each year a topic of current interest is chosen for the contest. The topics are always persuasive in nature and students must develop an argument for or against the issue. Past topics include:

  • 2015: How much latitude should police officers have in stopping and searching potential suspects?
  • 2014: In an era of digital and social media communication, can government surveillance be curtailed without sacrificing freedom of speech?
  • 2013: Will college campus safety increase if faculty or students are permitted to bear arms?
  • 2012: What is the impact of social networking sites on the quality of interpersonal communication and interaction as a society?
  • 2011: What is the Future of the Mainstream Media as a Reliable Source of Newstand Information?
  • 2009:  Do Social Networking Sites, such as MySpace and Facebook have a Positive or Negative Impact on Individuals in Society?
  • 2008: Should the U.S. Boycott the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics?
  • 2007: Should UC Change from a Quarter System to a Semester System?
  • 2006: Would Expansion of Online Course Offerings in the Department of Communication be Beneficial to UC Students?
  • 2005: What should Professional and Amateur Sports Organizations do to Regulate or Eliminate Steroid Use?
  • 2004: Should the US Constitution be Amended to Prohibit Same Sex Marriage?

2016 Alice M. House Speech Contest Winners

  • First Place: Mariam Elgafy
  • Second Place: Jeff Back
  • Third Place: Ben Wells
  • Fourth Place: Devon Jackson
  • Fifth Place: Sean Stapp