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Forensics is a co-curricular activity housed in the Political Science Department at Bloomsburg University and is supported by funds from the Community Government Association, our student government. Forensics is competitive public speaking and debate and includes such events as impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, persuasive speaking, informative speaking, after-dinner speaking, prose interpretation, poetry and dramatic duo interpretation. Students in forensics may also compete in Lincoln-Douglas (one-on-one) Debate and parliamentary (2-person team) debate.
All students are eligible to sign-up for the forensics practicum course (Intstudy 108) each semester. Students who sign up for the Forensics Practicum may earn 1 academic credit per semester. Students enrolled in the course must compete in at least 3 speaking/debate events per tournament at three tournaments per semester. Students who elect to join the team without taking the forensics practicum must compete in at least one event at their first tournament and must participate in at least two events at their second tournament. From their third tournament on, students must compete in at least three events per tournament. Students may join the team and not sign up for the Forensics Practicum credit. The general philosophy guiding our team is that forensics should be an educational activity in which students enhance their oral communication skills, rather than an emphasis on winning awards. The goal of BU Forensics is to help students become better communicators, enhance critical thinking skills, and to be attentive audience members. BU Forensics is open to all BU students of all majors and abilities.
Student members are required to obtain the approval of the student coaches or the Director of Forensics before attending a tournament. There are 2 work-study students who are on the team and are paid to help coach their peers in forensics events. The work-study assistants are generally junior or senior members of the forensics team. The Director of Forensics also coaches students on the team on an appointment basis. All students must attend weekly meetings to practice and improve their speeches/pieces in order to receive approval to participate in forensics tournaments.
The classes offered in support of Forensics are offered in the Communication Studies Department. These classes include argumentation, Public Speaking, and Oral Interpretation. No scholarships are currently offered for membership on the BU Forensics team. However, students receive free housing, transportation, and subsidized meals while traveling to and from forensics tournaments.
BU competes in 4 – 5 tournaments per semester. We have a Pi Kappa Delta Chapter (national honorary speech society) at Bloomsburg University and usually attend PKD national and provincial tournaments. We regularly compete in NFA and CFA tournaments and at the NFA national tournament. Bloomsburg University also participates in the Pennsylvania Forensics Association State Tournament. We usually do not compete at AFA tournaments.