Should the GOP break with Governor Chris Christie? Which country will become the next global economics front runner? Why are there so few female role models in children’s television?
These were some of the issues that were debated by intercollegiate forensics teams at the New England Regional Championships last month. The Suffolk forensics society, which hosted the tournament on campus, won 11 trophies, including the coveted title of Northeast Regional Champions.
In forensics —competitive speech and debate — students research, write, and deliver different types of speeches on a wide variety of topics. They might prepare a speech in advance on a predetermined topic. Or have two minutes to prepare a speech on the spot.
Suffolk’s team, founded in the early 1960s, comprises undergraduate students from a variety of majors, such as journalism, government, history, and business. The team travels nationally and internationally and has competed in places like New Orleans, Colorado, and Greece. They compete in up to eight tournaments annually against a range of schools, such as Emerson College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Bowling Green State University. Suffolk is the largest forensics team in the Boston area.
“Forensics provides a valuable complement to the academic experience,” says team coach Jodi Nevola, who also teaches in the Communication & Journalism department. “Members hone the art of public speaking and arguing — skills that will benefit them throughout their educational and professional careers.”
Past team members have gone on to become lawyers, small business owners, professors, executives, and more. Half a dozen alumni of the forensics team came “home” to help run and judge the February tournament.