Speech and Debate at Whitworth University
Whitworth Forensics is an interdisciplinary program that provides a rigorous intellectual experience for students interested in the exchange of ideas and in sharpening their public speaking skills. Forensics is open to all students regardless of academic major or previous public-speaking experience.
The Whitworth Forensics Team competes in intercollegiate tournaments in the Northwest Forensics Conference and in speech and debate tournaments nationwide. Team members test their skills against some of the finest speakers in the U.S. and consistently earn regional and national recognition.
The forensics program covers the costs of tournament entry fees, supplies, travel, meals and lodging, while students contribute the time, effort, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence necessary to prepare for and compete in tournaments. Students also take a one-credit course, Applied Speech: Forensics.
2020-21 Whitworth Forensics Highlights
- National champions: For the eighth time in nine years, Whitworth took first place at the National Christian College Forensics Association's national tournament. Chauncella Koulibali '22 was the top overall speaker and debater at the tournament. At the International Public Debate Association's national tournament, Tricia Cebotari '24 was the undefeated national champion in the junior varsity division, and Jericho Simone '22 was the national runner-up in the varsity division.
- Tournament champions: The Arguing Bucs had the top debater at the Lewis & Clark College, Pacific University, Linfield University, Lower Columbia College, Western Washington University and Bossier-Parrish College tournaments.
- Unique awards: Chauncella Koulibali '22 won the Brent Northup Award as the top competitor in the Northwest Forensics Conference season-long standings. Skye Gordon '23 won the Shark Award at the Lower Columbia College tournament as the top competitor. Whitworth won the season-long standings in both the varsity and junior varsity divisions of the International Public Debate Association and took first place overall in the Northwest Forensics Conference.