For the first time, on Nov. 12, UVSC students will put their words to work and battle for cash prizes in a speech competition.

The Marie Clegg Jones Annual Speech Competition is a new event in which all students can register to participate. "It’s going to be really neat," said Dr. Janet Colvin, the event’s organizer. Colvin said the event gives students who have taken public speaking classes, as well as students who are simply interested in public speaking, "An opportunity to do something in public, and win some money."

The awards are $500 for first place; $250 for second place; and $150 for third place. The competition is financed through a fund established by Kevin Jones, a Salt Lake City attorney and the son of Marie Clegg Jones, for whom the competition is named.

Two preliminary rounds will be held on Nov. 12, between 12 and 5 p.m. and will narrow down the competition to a field of six students. The final round will be held at 7 p.m. in the Ragan Theater, in front of an open audience.

Colvin said the participants must prepare a five to seven minute persuasive speech and cannot use visual aids. She said organizers are expecting at least 60 students to participate in the competition. The deadline for registration was Nov. 1.

The event is free and open to the public.