Whitworth's Debaters Experience Growth, Friendship and Success
For the members of the Arguing Bucs, it's no debate: Whitworth University forensics offers an excellent way to challenge yourself and grow. These debaters sharpen their public-speaking and analytical skills all year long, developing close bonds as they travel around the country to compete. And their work consistently pays off. This spring, for the seventh time in eight years, the Arguing Bucs won the National Christian College Forensics Association's national tournament. And in the yearlong sweepstakes for points earned all season, Whitworth took fifth place out of more than 125 schools across the nation.
We asked some of Whitworth's expert debaters about why they love forensics – from the growth they have experienced to their favorite debates. Here's what they said.
Rylee Walter '19
Majors: Speech Communication, English – Literature Track
Forensics has helped me grow in almost every aspect of my life. I have become a more confident and articulate presenter, improved my ability to think and adapt quickly, learned how to efficiently balance school/practice/work/other extracurriculars, and practiced persevering through speeches or debates that felt scary, just to name a few benefits. I also owe much of my own growth to our coach, Dr. Mike Ingram. He has consistently challenged and encouraged me over the last four years, and I am grateful every day for his influence in my life.
My favorite part of the team is absolutely the community. Almost all of my closest friends at Whitworth have come from the team, and our coaches truly invest in us as people – we're one big family. From singing karaoke in the vans to helping each other through hard debates, the level of support, encouragement and general friendship we experience makes the team a really incredible place to learn and grow.
Chauncey Koulibali '22
Major: Psychology (pre-med track)
Forensics at Whitworth has holistically bettered my freshman year here. Within the first week of school, I already had an awesome group of people I could associate with. Some of my closest friends here are on the debate team, and I highly value those relationships. Debate is a rewarding activity that I love, but it also has its challenges. Having a group of people that can relate to the balance of being in a competitive activity while still maintaining academic success has made my life healthier and happier.
My favorite part of being in this program is competing. It's an odd phenomenon... When we have to wake up at 6 the morning of the first competition day, I always think to myself, "Why am I doing this again?" but then after my first round of giving a powerful speech and debating a topic that I'm passionate about, the adrenaline floods through my body and I think, "Wow, I love doing this." The sense of reward and accomplishment that I've found in forensics is unparalleled to anything else I've done in my life. Whenever I earn an award, I'm not only proud of myself, but I'm thankful for my teammates and coaches who helped me polish those speeches and prep the solid debate cases. Plus, I love walking around in suits and having people listen to me! I feel so empowered.