Forensics and Debate Team
The Webster University Forensics and Debate Team, part of the School of Communications, is one of the most competitive in the country. Typically, the team participates in 15 to 20 tournaments a year, mixing regional and national events to diversify the experience.
Webster's forensic and debate program prides itself on the opportunities it provides to students from all backgrounds and experience levels, ranging from the four-year high school competitor and national qualifier to the public speaking student interested in further speaking opportunities. The program prioritizes a team ethic while working closely with students to help each team member achieve his or her own educational and competitive goals. The result is a forensic tradition in which the Webster team and individual students earn recognition regionally and nationally.
The team is open to all students regardless of talent or experience. All a student needs is a desire to do his or her best and to have a minimum grade point average of 2.5. The School of Communications underwrites all participation, from travel costs to materials, needed to prepare for competition.
In the past years, Webster University's forensics program has been recognized as one of the top comprehensive programs in the United States. Webster also has played host to international debate teams from Great Britain and Japan and won numerous individual and team championships.
Each January, the forensics program hosts the Gorlok Gala Invitational, one of the Midwest's largest and most comprehensive tournaments. In 2005, Webster hosted the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and Convention.
Forensics team members participate in a range of interpretation and public speaking events, including literature, writing speeches and speaking on current events or philosophical issues. Policy debate balances research, critical thinking, preparation and presentation skills. Policy topics remain the same throughout a season. Parliamentary debate stresses critical thinking, reasoning and effective presentation skills. Parliamentary topics vary within each tournament.
Academic credit is available for forensics participation by enrolling in one of two practicum courses. SPCM 2000 Forensics is for students participating primarily in individual events and/or parliamentary debate. POLT 3550 Competitive Political Argumentation and Debate is for students involved in policy debate or who wish to explore advanced debate theory. Enrolling in a practicum course obligates a student to attend half of the tournaments scheduled during a given semester.
The Forensics and Debate Team is active at the St. Louis home campus.
Forensic and Debate Team Adds More Awards at MAFA Championship Tournament
Gorlok Debaters Pick Up Multiple Awards in Arkansas
Gorlok Gala Debate Tournament Sees Largest Turnout in 17-Year History
Jensens Present at Speech and Theatre Association
School of Communications Well Represented at STAM Conference
Forensics and Debate Program Commended for 15 Years of Excellence
Strong Showing for Forensics and Debate Team at Season Opener
Pro Gear- Cat Goeke, BA in Video Production, 2013
“At Webster, I had access to industry standard equipment from my first day at school and professors to provide training so I could make the most of it. As I made my way through the program, my access to new and more advanced equipment expanded.”
Creative Community- John Schwartz, BA in Audio Production, 2013
“Working with the Audio Engineering Society was an amazing experience because as a group you pull off things that seem like they shouldn’t be possible.”
Professional Networking- Jesse Baugh, BA in Scriptwriting, 2015
“My involvement with the Webster Film and Video Society has pushed me in a positive direction by helping me make the connections I need to break into the film industry.”
Student Involvement- John Schwartz, BA in Audio Production, 2013
“The Audio Engineering Society Summit is an incredibly ambitious undertaking for a student organization, and I’m really proud to have been a part of it.”
Helpful Staff- Cat Goeke, BA in Video Production, 2013
“The staff at the Media Center do their best to handle questions, repairs, and long lines of stressed-out students as quickly and pain-free as possible.”
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