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Central Wyoming College is re-starting a competitive speech and debate program that will continue a winning tradition of the 1970s and '80s.
What are debate and forensics?
The debate and forensics team consists of academically motivated students who wish to further develop their critical thinking and public speaking skills against students from other colleges and universities across the state, region, and nation.
CWC’s debaters primarily compete in the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) format, a limited-preparation two person style debate format that gives students the chance to engage questions of current political and social significance as well as enduring philosophical questions. For more information about NPDA please visit “The NPDA Rules of Debating” webpage: http://www.parlidebate.org/npda-rules/
Forensics at CWC will consist of the 11 National Forensics Association events: impromptu, extemporaneous speaking, prose, poetry, dramatic interpretation, dramatic duo, persuasive speaking, rhetorical criticism, informative speaking, after dinner speaking, and, when the tournament permits, Lincoln-Douglas debate. For more information about these particular events, except L-D, please visit the “NFA Rules for Individual Events” webpage at http://www.nationalforensics.org/rules-and-documents/nfa-rules-for-individual-events
Why should I join?
The answer to that question is as diverse as the people asking it, but fundamentally competing in debate and forensics will improve your ability to deliver speeches, write papers, perform research, develop connections outside of CWC that have both professional and personal benefit, will serve as a significant line on your resume, and also give you the opportunity to form lifelong relationships with your colleagues. For those folks with a competitive academic or games bent who do not have an outlet for those desires, debate and forensics provides a means for self-fulfillment that is both stimulating and rewarding.
Do I need previous experience?
Absolutely not. While some previous experience will make initial tournaments a bit easier, many very successful competitors begin their debate and forensics careers in college. As with anything, if you have a little less experience, you will have to be patient with the results and put in a little extra work. With that effort, you will be successful in no time.How much time do I have to put in?
Like with anything, the amount of time you invest will have a direct bearing on the quality of the work you do. With that said, students should anticipate spending no fewer than ten hours every week in preparation for debate and individual events. That will include five hours of practice and five hours of individual time, but that does not include the fall and spring retreats or tournaments, which will require the student to compete five weekends in the fall and five in the spring. Hopefully, you find the activity rewarding, so that the question of time investment becomes irrelevant.
Where will the team travel?
Some of the best competition in the United States is within the borders of the state of Wyoming, so most of our tournaments usually will be nearby; however, the team will also travel to Colorado, Montana, and, as the national tournaments call for it, to states like Washington and Illinois.
What does it cost me?
Nearly nothing. Central Wyoming College covers entry fees, rooms, food, transportation, and most, if not all, of the supplies you need to compete. Occasionally students may need to buy a pen and they will always be expected to contribute to a tip when the team eats at a restaurant.