Debate & Forensics
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The Kansas Wesleyan University competitive Debate & Forensics Program was established to provide a place for those students who had enjoyed high school debate and forensics and wanted to continue that experience. Today, that mission continues and has included students who have never competed in debate and forensics before college. The mix has been successful as our squad has won 29 national championships and has been competitive each year in the regional and national tournaments we attend.
Our squad attends about twelve tournaments per year. The tournaments include schools from throughout the United States, including yearly or biyearly visits to Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and California.
Kansas Wesleyan debaters experienced great national success during the month of March
First, the team traveled to Ohio University in Athens, OH, for the National Pi Kappa Delta Forensics Tournament, March 4-6, 2015. This is the largest national forensics tournament in the U.S., with 88 colleges and universities competing against each other and more than 2000 entries.
Schools from all classifications competed against each other, putting small institutions like KWU up against Division I schools like Central Michigan University. Despite being one of the smallest schools in attendance, Kansas Wesleyan placed 18th in debate sweepstakes. Bose State University placed first. The sweepstakes awards are the final rankings that measure total squad success over the course of a season.
There were 100 to 250 entries in each event. Individual and team placings for KWU were: Parliamentary Debate—Amber Benning and William "Alex" Vore, 4th place; Impromptu Speaking—Jacob "Jake" Provo, 4th Place, Amber Benning, 27th place, Dakota Yates, 30th place, Alex Vore, 32nd place; Extemporaneous Speaking—Dakota Yates, 4th place; Interviewing & Resume—Jake Provo, 29th place; Congress—Amber Benning, Presiding Officer & 7th place overall.
During spring break, the KWU debate team traveled to the National Christian College Forensics Invitational, Mar. 20-22, at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, CO. The tournament is organized by the National Christian College Forensics Association (www.nccfa.org). For this invitational, 79 colleges and universities from 26 states competed. Kansas Wesleyan University returned home with two newly crowned national champions.
Kansas Wesleyan students finished as follows: Alex Vore was declared Junior Varsity National Champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; Dakota Yates won National Novice Champion in Impromptu Speaking; Allyson "Ally" Bogen was awarded 3rd place in Novice IPDA; Amber Benning finished 8th in Open IPDA; Dakota Yates and Jake Provo - 4th in Open Parliamentary Debate. KWU took 3rd place in debate and individual events (overall) sweepstakes.
IPDA DIVISIONS: Most IPDA (International Public Debate Association) tournaments offer three divisions of competition. The Novice division is open to any person without a bachelor's degree who has competed in less than eight debate tournaments in their entire life. The Varsity division is open to any person without a bachelor's degree. The Professional (Open) division has no restrictions on participation and includes participants who are undergraduates, graduate students, professors, coaches, and professionals. As of the 2009 Convention, the Open division has been renamed the Professional division.
The squad attends around 12 tournaments a year.