Concordia Forensics co-host educational tournament

Concordia Forensics press release

Concordia and NDSU’s forensics teams collaborated to host two speech tournaments this past weekend, but due to poor weather, two schools dropped out of the tournaments on short notice.

Because of the drops, there were no longer enough schools participating for any competitive points to count, including qualifications for the American Forensics Association – National Individual Events Tournament (AFA – NIET) held in April at Arizona State University.

College forensics works to ensure a balance between education and competition, so the Concordia and NDSU forensics teams decided to still hold the first tournament which took place at NDSU. By deciding to hold the tournament, students were still able to receive criticism from judges, and schools attempting to develop their new speech programs were still able to receive exposure.

Students from Minnesota State University-Moorhead and University of St. Thomas who had no previous speech experience but are interested in starting speech teams on their own campuses attended the tournament. The new competitors performed papers they had written for a class, or they participated in limited preparation categories where rehearsed scripts are not allowed.

For students from more-established programs, the tournament was an opportunity to receive criticism on speeches that had recently been altered or had not yet been performed at a tournament.

This tournament also provided a unique opportunity for competitors and coaches to refer to information typically not given out after tournaments including all critiques, ranks and scores given to every competitor. The information was scanned and posted online and is available through a link.

Concordia speech coach Joseph Kennedy explained how this transparent method also holds judges accountable for “potentially rude or unhelpful critiques.”

While the tournament did not provide competitors with a chance to earn competitive points or qualify speeches for the AFA-NIET, members on Concordia’s team believed the weekend was worthwhile.

“The tournament was helpful for us, but it was more helpful for those who don’t necessarily get opportunities like these on a regular basis,” said junior biology and psychology double major Krysta Hovendon. “That’s really what this weekend was supposed to be about – giving back to the speech community.”

Junior communications studies and theatre arts and Chinese double major, Cate Bruns, agreed.

“Having the chance to compete at a tournament for fun and learning was a nice change from the rigid structure we normally undergo, and it served as a great reminder of the true purpose of college forensics.”

The Concordia speech team will compete next at St. Cloud State University this coming weekend, Jan. 31 – Feb. 1.

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