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Three days before competing in the National Forensic Association’s annual championship tournament, Forensics Society members will host a demonstration 6:15-9:30 p.m. Monday in the Oechsle Hall auditorium (room 224).

“The performance night is designed to give people outside the team a flavor of what we do,” says Scott Placke, director of forensics.

The demonstration will feature five team members, each performing a different event. Marquis Scholars Kim Moore ’05 (Longwood, Fla.), a psychology major, Christian Dato ’07 (Poway, Ca.), a history and government & law major, and Mark Kokoska ’08 (Bloomsburg, Pa.) will demonstrate persuasion, poetry, and after-dinner speaking, respectfully. Trustee Scholar and philosophy major Erik Heins ’05 (Center Moriches, N.Y.) will demonstrate impromptu speech and Joe Borland ’06 (Wilkes Barre, Pa.), a government and law major, will perform an extemporaneous speech.

The Forensics Society will compete in the championship tournament April 14-18 at the University of Akron, Ohio. Last year, the team placed third in debate and earned a speech award. Qualifying in at least 19 events this year, 10 team members will compete in nine different events.

The Forensics Society members and their events:
Jeremy Bennett ’05 – Lincoln-Douglas debate
Joe Borland ’06 – Extemporaneous and impromptu speech
Christian Dato ’07 Debate, impromptu speech, and poetry
Erik Heins ’05 – Debate, extemporaneous speech, and impromptu speech
Mark Kokoska ’08 – Debate, after-dinner speaking, dramatic duo (with Kumpan), and extemporaneous and impromptu speech
Paul Kritzler ’05 – Debate
Julie Kumpan ’08 – Dramatic duo with Kokoska
Kim Moore ’05 – Debate, persuasion, and extemporaneous speech
Bill O’Brien ’07 – Persuasion, informative speech, and rhetorical debate
Doug Weltman ’08 – Debate

Although she is more excited to represent Pennsylvania as one of two competitors at the Interstate Oratorical Association’s annual competition in Boston, Mass., Moore says that nationals will be both a bonding and learning experience. She earned an invitation to the oldest oratorical contest in the United States by placing second in persuasion at the state forensics championship, which Lafayette hosted, finishing second overall for the third consecutive year.

“Last year when we came home with the third-place trophy (in debate), I think we not only surprised ourselves, but the entire forensics community. I hope that this year we can shock them even more,” she says. “After winning a pentathlon award, I am more confident about nationals, and I feel the team as a whole should be able to do well.”

“While any competition is uncertain, I think we have a really good chance of doing even better at National Forensics Association’s nationals this year than last,” says Placke. “We have several very strong events and competitors. I am looking forward to seeing how we do.”

Placke, Jon Honiball, debate coach, and JenniferRusak ’04, a quarterfinalist in debate at last year’s national championship, will accompany the team.

Descriptions of National Forensic Association events:

After-dinner speaking – Each contestant presents an original speech whose purpose is to make a serious point through the use of humor. The speech should reflect the development of a humorous comedic effort, not a stand-up comedy routine. The speech must be memorized and has a 10-minute maximum.

Dramatic duo – Two individuals perform a cutting from a play, humorous or serious, that involves two or more characters. Since it is not an acting event, costumes and props are not permitted. The maximum of 10-minute performance must be from a manuscript and focus must be off stage.

Extemporaneous speech – In each round contestants select one of three topics on current national and international events. The contestant then has 30 minutes to prepare a five- to seven-minute speech on the topic selected. Notes may be used but should be kept to a minimum and the speech has a maximum of seven minutes.

Impromptu speech – Contestants are given short excerpts dealing with items of general interest, political, economic, and social issues. Each contestant has seven minutes to divide between preparing a speech and speaking. The speech should be a minimum of three minutes and all contestants in the same section discuss the same topic.

Informative speech – The contestant delivers an original factual speech on a realistic subject to fulfill a general information need of the audience. The speech has a 10-minute maximum, must be delivered from memory, and may include visual aids that reinforce the message.

Lincoln-Douglas debate – LD debate is a two-person policy debate on a resolution that is kept for the entire school year. This year’s resolution is “The United States Federal Government should significantly reform the criminal justice system.”

Persuasion – Contestants deliver a speech on a significant issue that should convince, move to action, or inspire. The speech must be delivered from memory and can last a maximum of 10 minutes.

Poetry – Contestants present a program of poetic literature. Each program has a 10-minute maximum, requires a manuscript, and may include introductory comments or transitional remarks.

Prose – Contestants present a program of prose literature; plays are not permitted. The performance has a 10-minute maximum, requires a manuscript, and may include introductory comments or transitional remarks.

Rhetorical criticism – Contestants deliver an original critical analysis of any significant rhetorical artifact. Contestants must limit their quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing of the analyzed artifact, but can use legitimate critical methodology as long as it serves to open the artifact for the audience. The speech must be delivered from memory and can last a maximum of 10 minutes.

Prior tournament reports

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