Florida Southern Forensic Society begins speech and debate tournament season
LAKELAND, Fla. (Oct. 14, 2005) – The Florida Southern Forensic Society begins its season of intercollegiate speech and debate with a tournament on Oct. 28 at the Georgia Mountains Swing Competition hosted by Berry College in Rome, Ga.
Members of the society will be competing in seven of the 11 individual speaking events offered, including persuasive, informative and after-dinner speaking, prose and poetry events, impromptu speaking and rhetorical criticism.
The team plans to travel to other competitions in Jacksonville, Pensacola, Gainesville, and other locations. “Our goal this year is to give students a chance to see what competitive forensics is all about,” said Chris Fenner, Ph.D., director of the forensic team. “I am hoping that some of the team members will qualify for national competition in April.”
The Forensic Society was founded last year by honors students Anton Kivilev, Victoria Sandbrook and Emily Sterling under the guidance of advisor Paula Buck, Ph.D. Chris and Stephanie Fenner, both of whom have several years of coaching experience with top-ranked Suffolk University, signed on to help coach and run the novice team.
“The students did such a great job last year organizing our on-campus event, the Speak Out competition,” said Stephanie Fenner, associate director of freshman scholarships and financial aid. “I’m really looking forward to getting them off campus for a great competitive season.”
Chris Fenner said the team has worked to build on the success of last year’s Speak Out event and has several exciting opportunities in development. In addition to joining both the National Forensic Association and the American Forensic Association, the team is making inroads to hosting tournaments on the Florida Southern campus.
“We are looking at the possibility of holding a one-day tournament on campus during the spring semester and have already made plans to host a large-scale swing tournament in December, 2006,” Fenner said.
Swing tournaments are two-to-three-day events that often draw upward of 10 to 15 colleges. The Florida Southern Forensic Society will co-host the December 2006 tournament with the Suffolk University Walter M. Burse Forensic Society.
In addition to planning and preparing for competitions, the team has been reaching out across campus for advice and assistance. Buck recently announced that the campus chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has agreed to provide support for the Georgia Mountains Swing competition and has offered volunteer judges and support for the campus competition to be held in spring.
“It’s so nice to see things coming together,” Buck said. “The students got the ball rolling last year, and the support from the campus has really made a difference.”
The Florida Southern Forensic Society hopes that a strong showing at the start of the season will help propel the team to national competitions at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the University of Florida.
For more information about the tournament and competitive forensics, contact Chris Fenner at 863-680-4148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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