Forensics and Debate Team
The Webster University Forensics and Debate Team is one of the most competitive in the country. The team normally 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 in 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 their 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 they need is a desire to do their best and at least a 2.5 grade point average. Webster underwrites all participation, from travel costs to materials needed to prepare for competition.
In the past years, Webster'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.
The forensics program each January 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. Forensics (SPCM 2000) is for students participating primarily in individual events and/or parliamentary debate. Competitive Political Argumentation and Debate (POLT 3550) is for students involved in policy debate or wanting to explore advanced debate theory. Enrolling in a practicum course obligates you to attend half of the tournaments scheduled during a given semester.
The Forensics and Debate Team is active at the St. Louis home campus.
Advisor: Scott Jensen