The Cornell Forensics Society has been continuing its tradition of this year in both debate and speech in national and regional level competitions. The team, headed by coaches Jethro Hayman, communications lecturer, and Prof. John Miller, architectural design, theory of architecture and visual studies, was ranked amongst the top fifteen debate teams nationwide according to the American Debate Association.
“We’re continuing the tradition of the excellent. Cornell Forensics has been one of the most successful intercollegiate teams at this University,” Hayman said.
“There’s a lot of preparation involved. It requires a lot of dedication and commitment,” he added.
The debate team spends a lot of time researching debate topics, designing arguments and interacting with the coaches. The speech competitors individually prepare three to five speeches that they revise and practice with input from other members and the coaches.
“Everyone is out to help you in the team. It’s a great learning experience,” says Samarth Chaturvedi ’04, who is a ‘promise of the future [for the team]’ according to Hayman.
The team made it to the quarter-finals in the Heart of America Tournament in the University of Kansas in February, where Lara Douglas ’03 and Dan Klaff ’04 was placed along side the top eight elite teams out of 64 teams.
Douglas said debating is, “a good opportunity to get to know people and think critically and research in depth in ways I wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to. I wouldn’t get to learn these skills through classes and papers. The competitions are challenging.”
In February, Cornellians Kerry McBroom ’05 and Stephanie Johnson ’04 on one team, and David Fisher ’04 and Michael Carpentier ’04 of Cornell on another team tied for first and second place as they closed out the tournament in the East Regional Championships at Marist College.
Last semester, the speech team won a trophy for best overall team performance in speech in the Bloomsburg Tournament. The teamwork of Douglas and Klaff also brought home a prize sword for winning the Westpoint Tournament Championships in September. Douglas is the two time defending champion of this sword.
“We’re open to any students who are willing to challenge themselves. We’re a competitive and very inclusive organization. The tradition is that if you’re willing to do the work, we’re willing to coach you. You just have to have the desire,” says Hayman.
Archived article by Sun Staff