By: Alexander Landen
When most people hear the word “Forensics” they think of CSI.
However, when this word filters through Quirk Theater Building and the Communication Department, it means something different. The word “Forensics” is rooted from a term meaning the “search for truth.” This is how it relates to the Eastern Michigan University Forensics Team, one of the most successful and competitive speech and debate teams in the United States.
Almost every weekend of the academic year the EMU Forensics team travels around the country, anywhere from Ohio to Texas or Florida, competing in Speech and Debate tournaments against other Universities and Colleges. The students competing on this team concentrate on three genres of speaking which are interpretation, public address and limited preparation.
In total these three genres encompass 11 competitive events. Interpretation includes Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry, Prose, Dramatic Duo and Program Oral Interpretation. Public Address includes Informative, Persuasion, Rhetorical Criticism and After Dinner Speaking. Finally, Limited Preparation includes Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speaking.
All of these events have different guidelines and styles of speaking that the student are judged upon and awarded for their success. The reason the EMU Forensics Team is worth mentioning is because it provides a strong tradition of excellence to our University.
Eastern Michigan is home to the only collegiate forensics team that, in 40 years of competition, has never fallen out of the top ten teams in the country. Over recent years, the team has continued to produce excellent team results as well as producing an individual finalist in every one of those 40 years. However, awards are not the only great thing that forensics provides to the students who take part in it.
It is also an excellent way for students to express themselves mentally and emotionally. This allows them to expand their thoughts and develop excellent public speaking. It is often joked in the forensics community that public speaking is the number fear of Americans and the competitors attack that fear every weekend.