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Forensics Society placed first among schools in Pi Kappa Delta, the national honor society for forensics, and third overall in both halves of the Hugs and Kisses Swing tournament held at West Chester University Jan. 21-22. Teams from 12 colleges and universities competed at the event.

Marquis Scholars Rachel Heron ’09 (Downingtown, Pa.) and Mark Kokoska ’08 (Bloomsburg, Pa.) took first place with their dramatic duo presentation of Larry Harris’ Answering the Echo at Saturday’s event. Heron received third place in prose reading with Anne Redish Stampler’s “Billy Flame’s Wife,” fourth place in poetry reading with a presentation on “little lives in the big city,” and sixth place in dramatic interpretation with Linda Griffiths’ Alien Creature. Kokoska, a computer science major, took second in extemporaneous speech by answering, “Will Saddam get a fair trial?” He placed fourth in quadrathon, an overall placement for competitors who are entered in at least four events, including one each in the limited preparation, full preparation, and interpretive categories. He also placed fifth in impromptu speech and competed in after-dinner speaking.

“I was very pleased with the team’s performance at West Chester,” says Heron. “The weekend was intense for interpretive events, and it was thrilling to go up against such solid competitors in every event.”

“This tournament was a good start to the new year,” says Kokoska. “I think the potential for an amazing end for this season is very real.”

Government and law major Joe Borland ’06 (Wilkes Barre, Pa.) placed second in impromptu speech and competed in extemporaneous speech. History major Bill O’Brien’07 (Elmont, N.Y.) took third in after-dinner speaking with his discussion of problems and solutions of plagiarism and informative speech with his discussion of the advantages, disadvantages, and implications of Rapex, a new female condom designed to immobilize rapists. His argument in support of surveillance cameras in public transportation areas earned fourth place in persuasive speech, and his discussion of racial implications of the cartoon character Memín Pinguín in Mexico earned fifth in rhetorical criticism. He and Marquis Scholar Amy Solomito ’09 (Coopersburg, Pa.) took sixth in the dramatic duo event.

“West Chester was a great success for us,” says O’Brien. “I was impressed at how well we functioned as a team; everyone made a contribution to be proud of. The future looks bright.”

Solomito placed sixth in rhetorical criticism with her analysis of the UNICEF anti-war ad airing in Europe depicting the destruction of a Smurf village by an air strike. She also competed in prose reading with Kerry Langan’s “The Dean’s Wife” and persuasive speech with an argument in support of the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception.

Other Lafayette competitors at Saturday’s tournament included Trustee Scholar Beth Wehler ’09 (Gettysburg, Pa.), who placed fourth in impromptu speech and competed in extemporaneous speech; Brad Hock ’09 (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), extemporaneous speech, impromptu speech, and rhetorical criticism; Kavinda Udugama ’09 (Kandy, Sri Lanka), impromptu and persuasive speech; and Ng’ang’a Muchiri ’09 (Nairobi, Kenya), extemporaneous, informative, and impromptu speech.

Borland, Kokoska, and O’Brien all registered second-place finishes to lead the Lafayette team in Sunday’s tournament. Borland placed second in Lincoln-Douglas debate and sixth in extemporaneous speech; he also competed in impromptu speech. Kokoska placed second in impromptu speech by discussing “If you lined up all the economists end to end, they could not produce a solution,” fifth in extemporaneous speech by answering “Who is winning the airplane sales race in India?” fifth in the dramatic duo event with Heron, and sixth in quadrathon. He was a semi-finalist in debate and competed in after-dinner speaking. O’Brien took second in rhetorical criticism, third in persuasive speech, and fifth in the dramatic duo event with Solomito. He also competed in informative speech and after-dinner speaking.

In addition to her event with Kokoska, Heron took sixth in prose reading and competed in poetry reading. Along with her event with O’Brien, Solomito took fourth in persuasive speech and fifth in rhetorical criticism. She also competed in prose reading.

“It was extremely fulfilling to face such formidable competition and be able to compete at the same level,” says Solomito.

Muchiri took fifth in informative speech with a discussion of the medical benefits of meditation. He also competed in impromptu and extemporaneous speech. Wehler took fifth in impromptu speech and was a semi-finalist in debate. She also competed in extemporaneous speech. Other Lafayette competitors at Sunday’s event included Udugama, impromptu and persuasive speech, and Hock, extemporaneous speech, impromptu speech, and rhetorical criticism.

“Lafayette had a successful weekend,” says Wehler. “I’m proud of how the team did, and I look forward to the rest of the semester.”

Scott Placke, director of forensics, and John Boyer, debate coach, accompanied the team.

Forensics Society will travel to Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., for the Gorlok Tournament this weekend.

Forensics Society members are active in other campus activities as well.

Hock is co-president of McKeen Hall Residence Council, a member of Investment Club and Philosophy Society, and writes for The Lafayette.

Kokoska is president of Table Tennis Club and vice president of Haven and Social Gaming Network (SGN).

O’Brien is president of Dry Surfers, a member of Newman Association, and a tour guide for the admissions office.

Heron is a member of Newman Association, Landis Community Outreach Center’s Spanish Club for Kids, and College Democrats. She also writes for The Lafayette.

Wehler is a member of College Orchestra and College Democrats.

Udugama is a member of the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and Tennis Club.

Solomito is a member of Crew Club.

Muchiri writes for The Lafayette.

Prior tournament reports

Categorized in: Academic News