Carter Coudriet
Recognized for their exemplariness at CONA, the Premier Delegations and Outstanding Statesmen not only excel in debate, but also display the Core Values throughout the week. After substantial preparation for and participation in conference, many delegates dream of winning one of the most prestigious awards at the Conference on National Affairs.</p<p>Annually, between 20 and 25 debaters win Outstanding Statesman, while the numberof Premier Delegations fluctuate depending on how many delegations fulfill the requirements. To merit the title of Outstanding Statesman, a delegate must display aptitude in debate. This aptitude is defined by the use of knowledge, thoughtfulness, and respect. “I anticipate somebody from my delegation named Hayes Hagan getting it,”
commented Fletcher Lyon from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. “He has shown to be a selfless servant leader by giving pro speeches and spending time making sure that everybody whose proposal he wanted to get passed got theirs passed.” </p><p>Similarly, Premier Delegations must display qualities that exemplify the Blue Ridge Spirit. Along with engaging adeptly and courteously in debate, each delegation must complete a set of requirements, such as Conference Life Committee participation and complete caucus attendance.</p><p>“Winning Premier Delegation last year was an extreme honor,” said Oluwatobi OniOrisan from Connecticut. “This year hopefully Connecticut will win Premier Delegation again, but if not, I’m sure another delegation that is just as qualified will.”</p><p>While awards are not at the center of CONA, many delegates anticipate the closing ceremony when awards are presented. The Blue Ridge Journal would like to wish every delegate and delegation luck.