Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

SDSU Forensics:
Excellence and Personal Growth

SDSU Forensics: <br/>Excellence and Personal Growth

SDSU Forensics team members and awards at CSUN-Robert Barbera Invitational Tournament. (From L-R Kodee Bejsovec, Esau Cortez, Shan Cureton, Alisha Chand and Zakkiyya West.)

The SDSU Forensics (Speech and Debate) team, an overachieving organization under the helm of newly-appointed Director Marquesa Cook-Whearty, has finished out the fall semester with great success and maintains hopeful prospects for the spring.

The team spent fall semester acclimating its members to the environment of competitive debate, thus constructing a strong foundation for those who are preparing to participate in any given form of debate or individual speaking event at the national-level competitions of the spring.

“Fall semester tends to be an exploratory period for Forensics teams,” said SDSU Forensics President Nathaniel Rogers, a third-year Health Communications student. “This time has been filled with my teammates discovering the modes of performance that they prefer, and many have seen new means of expression and ideas that have been previously obfuscated. Our goals going into the spring semester are focused on honing skills in preparation for the national tournaments our squad attends.”

Forensics competitions encompass multiple debate formats, of which each demands a high degree of oratorical skills. The formats include Policy (focused on in-depth research on a single topic), Parliamentary (geared toward those who have cultivated impromptu argumentation skills), and British Parliamentary (which requires persuasion and communication to a lay audience). These debate formats are used in both individual and group competition.

Aztec Forensics has had a strong showing in the past, having placed in the top 25 of teams at the invitation-only National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence last year. Cook-Whearty hopes to repeat and elevate the team’s success in this year’s competitions.

After having participated in five tournaments on the road and one at home, the team boasts multiple claims to the title of quarterfinalist in Novice Policy in addition to having achieved the statuses of semi-finalist in British Parliamentary debate and octofinalist in Parliamentary debate in a competition at Colorado College. In the Individual Speaking Events category, multiple first and second place awards have been earned at the regional and national levels.

Thanks to the generous contributions of SDSU Forensics’ donors, whom the team monetarily relies upon, the team plans to send those who have qualified for national championships to compete in four upcoming tournaments in Washington, Colorado and Illinois.

Aside from adding to the esteem of the University, SDSU Forensics provides invaluable opportunities for students of any major to develop skills that are transferable to future endeavors after graduation.

“Since a significant portion of your time is engaged in research and argument construction, the benefits of this practice translate directly to academic performance in other classes,” said Rogers. “I can think of no better place to learn academic and professional research and writing skills than in speech and debate.”

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