Whitman College Forensics Newsletter

A Newsletter of the Whitman College Forensics Team, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1995

Whitman College Forensics Team registers successful fall semester

With a balance of experienced senior debaters, talented first-year students, and enthusiastic individual events competitors, Whitman College experienced a very successful fall semester. Although the Western Washington University Scrimmage did not bode well for Whitman, speakers and debaters got the official season off and running with their performance at the Jesuit Invitational at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. By any standard, Whitman College's performance at the Jesuit Invitational was impressive. In winning all three divisions of CEDA (Cross-Examination Debate Association) debate and collecting several individual events awards and legs to the national tournament, Whitman College Forensics demonstrated its preparation for the tournament and ability to do well. Specifically, Sean Harris and Steve Pointer won Senior CEDA, with a 5-1 record through the preliminary rounds. Both Whitman Junior teams, consisting of Jacquie Nguyen & Kristofer Peterson and Dave Perry & Erin Carlson registered 6-0 records and closed out the tournament in the semi-final rounds. Furthermore, Whitman took the Novice division with Jessica Palmer and Chris Harris going 5-1 through the preliminary rounds. Individual competitors Kristofer Peterson won Open Extemporaneous, Karen Skantze received third in Open Speech to Entertain and fourth in Open Persuasion, Erin Rogers and Katy Dixon won second in Open Duo and Amanda Elegant was a finalist in Junior Impromptu. By any measure, the season was off to a great start!

The success, however, did not end with the Jesuit Invitational. National circuit debaters traveled to San Diego State University, the site of the 1995 CEDA National Tournament, to compete against some of the best teams in the nation. Whitman College broke two teams into the elimination rounds, Andy Backlund and Chris White, who lost a close decision in bi-octafinals, and Jared Phillips and Steve Rowe, who moved into the octafinal round after defeating Northwest Louisiana State in a 2-1 decision. Those of you who know your Whitman Forensics trivia well will remember that it was Northwest Louisana State who defeated Whitman in two very important rounds--the quarterfinal of the 1993 National Tournament and the final round of the 1993 San Diego State University tournament. Needless to say, the victory over Northwest State was savored!

Whitman's success continued with its return to the Northwest as the debaters traveled to the University of Oregon and individual events competitors made their way to Oregon State University. As every Whitman CEDA team broke at the University of Oregon tournament to an eventual second place finish in both the senior and novice divisions, the individual events team took second place in sweepstakes behind the region's powerhouse Willamette University, touting such achievements as second in Novice Parliamentary debate, first in Open Persuasion, and first in Open Speech to Entertain.

In the final tournament of the semester, Whitman left the region with a clear message at the Linfield tournament, clearing two senior teams in senior CEDA to semi-finals, one team to novice semi-finals, and eventually overcoming Western Washington University in senior division CEDA to win first place.

Welcome to the 1994-1995 Coaching Staff!

Jim Hanson

Jim Hanson is presently the Director of Forensics at Whitman College. After joining Whitman College during the 1992-1993 academic year, Jim has led the Whitman College forensics team to many successes. Himself a quarter-finalist at the CEDA national tournament while competing for Western Washington University, Jim coached Charlotte Smith and Jennifer Becker to the quarterfinals at the 1993 National CEDA tournament. Jim also maintains professional contact with the debate community with numerous publications, high school debate seminars throughout the Northwest, and high school debate handbook that is used by students around the United States.

Ryan Hagemann

Ryan J. Hagemann currently serves as the Assistant Director of Forensics for Whitman College after graduating with an honors degree in Politics in 1994. Predominately an individual events participant, Ryan competed in nearly every one of the sanctioned AFA-NIET events, although he consistently participated in persuasion, impromptu, and informative speaking. Ryan's primary responsibility this year comes with coaching the large number of first-year students interested in the individual events program. His competitive successes include Speaker of the Tournament at the William O. Douglas Invitational at Western Washington University and second place in persuasive speaking at the District II-NIET Qualifying tournament.

Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith, a 1993 graduate of Whitman College in Politics and currently serving the College as an admission officer, is a valuable member of the coaching staff. Maintaining the position of Assistant Director of Debate, Charlotte brings a tremendous amount of insight and experience to the squad, having competed for eight years, four in high school and four for Whitman College. A consistent victor at many tournaments, Charlotte paired up with Jennifer Becker to dominate the region during the 1992-1993 season, and to register Whitman's most successful showing at the CEDA National Tournament, placing 5th in 1993.

Nicole Levin

Nicole Levin is the student assistant for the Whitman College Forensics Team this year. A former competitor, Nicole presently helps with recording the points and records of the team with the Northwest Forensics Conference and in the coaching of the novice and junior debate teams. Fortunately, Nicole is able to travel to many of the tournaments to offer her advice and coaching. Among her successes are breaking at the 1993 CEDA National Tournament and placing second at the San Diego State University tournament. Nicole will graduate in 1995 with a degree in Politics and Gender Studies.

Jennifer Becker

Jennifer Becker, a 1994 honors graduate in Politics and teaching assistant this year in Feminist Theories, rounds out an experienced coaching staff. Jenn, as mentioned earlier, placed fifth nationally as a junior at the 1993 CEDA National Tournament. She has worked extensively with the junior and novice teams this year, volunteering much of her time to students who wish to improve. In her senior year, Jennifer was honored with 20th speaker at the 1994 CEDA National Tournament. She also registered an impressive 6-2 record at the prestigious Heart of America tournament in Kansas with partner Rowland Hobbs.

New events, revitalized focus for Whitman Forensics

Although the receipt of the Founder's Award for CEDA in 1994 indicates the Whitman College Forensics is strong, the program is experiencing an expanded focus to include many new events and activities that are coming to the Northwest.

First, with the hiring of Assistant Director of Forensics Ryan J. Hagemann, Whitman College hopes to renew the strength of the individual events program that was characteristic of Whitman in the early 1980s. While recent successes in CEDA have allowed Whitman to travel nationally and recruit top-caliber debaters, Whitman wishes to attract nationally competitive individual events participants as well. Fortunately, there are several first-year students that appear enthusiastic about the program and are willing to dedicate the effort it takes to become national circuit speakers.

Furthermore, Whitman College's forensics team has expanded along with the Northwest district to include parliamentary debate. Predominate on the East Coast and in the Rocky Mountain region, parliamentary debate is exactly what it sounds like. Two-person teams, representing the government and the opposition, argue over a resolution that they are given fifteen minutes before the round. As Willamette University in Salem, Oregon is hosting the 1995 Parliamentary National Tournament, it is apparent that it is growing across the country.

Finally, Whitman is rather excited about the number of competitive CEDA teams we have. Consistently, Whitman has broken not one, but several teams into elimination rounds this semester. In addition, Whitman has debated in the final round of every regional tournament it has attended this semester, winning two of those tournaments. With the revitalized focus on individual events and the inclusion of parliamentary debate in its program, Whitman also looks to bolster its CEDA program by attracting and creating several national circuit teams.

Alumni News...

We want to know what is going on with former participants of Whitman College Forensics! In an attempt to share with you how former Whitman students and forensics participants are faring, we ask that you send any recent achievements, life events, or items that would be of interest to other members of the Whitman Forensics community. You may send these to either Jim Hanson, Director of Forensics, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA 99362 or Ryan J. Hagemann, Assistant Director of Forensics, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Not only do we encourage you to send in information, but extend an invitation to attend a tournament if you are in the area. There is a schedule of tournaments included in this issue, however, it should be mentioned that CEDA Nationals will be held in San Diego, California; NIET Nationals will be Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Parliamentary Nationals will be in Salem, Oregon. If you have the time, we would definitely enjoy seeing you at the tournament. If you have any questions, do not hesitate in calling either Jim at 509-527-5499 or Ryan at 509-527-4959.

Oregon State Tournament success for individual events

With a respectable number of first-year students and experienced competitors, Whitman College garnered a second place showing at the Oregon State University Individual Events Tournament in October.

Ten Whitman students traveled to Corvallis entered in events such as Persuasion, Prose, Dramatic Interpretation, After-Dinner Speaking, Impromptu, and Parliamentary Debate. By the end of the tournament, Whitman had registered several individual successes and a second place finish behind Region II Individual Events powerhouse Willamette University.

While nearly every Whitman competitor broke to finals or elimination rounds, some notable achievements were Karen Skantze and Ben Waterman's second place finish in Parliamentary Debate and Kristofer Peterson's second place finish in Impromptu and third in extemporaneous.

Intramural Debate...

Earlier this century, Whitman College had several speaking and debate societies that conducted debates on campus. The Department of Speech recognizes the importance and necessity of verbal communication. Therefore, in an attempt to involve as many students as possible in debating and argumentation, the Department with cooperation from the Office of the President, is sponsoring intramural debate tournaments on campus. Interested students can debate topics dealing with campus, national, social or political issues. We are looking forward to our first intramural tournament to be sometime in April, after the team has attended the national tournaments.


Cal Swing Dec. 27-Jan. 4, 1995

PLU January 13-15

Utah January 21-23

Western Washington February 3-5

Heart of America February 18-20

Whitman College February 24-25

NW CEDA Champs March 3-5

NIET Qualifer March 10-11

Parli Nationals March 24-26

CEDA Nationals March 29-April 5

NIET Nationals April 7-10

The Changing Face of Debate in the 1990s

by Jim Hanson, Director of Forensics

For those of you who debated just a few years ago--or perhaps more--you may be wondering, what is debate like now in the 1990's? The answer is that we are in the midst of change--just as we have been for at least the past 35 years.

In the 1960's, N.D.T., the predominate, if not only, form of debate began to focus on information processing and debaters began speaking very rapidly. In 1972, Jack Howe, returning from a tournament in a strong downpour, decided he had had enough of this rapid "machine-gun" style delivery and "squirrel cases." So, he started C.E.D.A. debate. C.E.D.A. debate grew from its small start in the Southwest of the country until today where over 300 schools are involved in the organization. The Northwest began debating C.E.D.A. debate in the mid-1970's and it became an exclusive form of debate in the 1987-1988 season. As C.E.D.A. grew, so did the number of arguments that teams presented. C.E.D.A. began to mimic N.D.T. just as N.D.T. was beginning to slow down. As we enter the 1990's, N.D.T. and C.E.D.A. are virtually equivalent--they both debate policy topics and they are evidence oriented and often involve fairly rapid rates of delivery.

Yet, as the two longest standing forms of debate have become nearly synonymous, a variety of alternatives have sprouted up for those who maintain delivery and analysis are the most important aspects of debate. In N.D.T., there is an auxiliary offshoot called A.D.A. which has established rules restraining rapid delivery and abusive topicality arguments. A.D.A. is strongest on the East Coast and the North Midwest. In the Midwest and South, about 30 teams have split from C.E.D.A. and formed N.E.D.A. whose objective is to emphasize slower delivery and to balance value and policy argumentation. In the East, the Rockies and now strong in the Northwest, Parliamentary debate has become very popular. Parliamentary debate uses no direct quotations and topics are announced 15 minutes before each round. Parliamentary debate has already generated much attention and many teams are competing in this new event.

With all this change, what can we say about the state of debate in the 1990's? My view is that the community is responding to the needs of its members. Parliamentary debate allows our students to compete without extensive research preparation yet still gain many of the benefits of engaging in argumentation. C.E.D.A. debate encourages our students to research subjects intensively and to argue the issues thoroughly. N.D.T., A.D.A. and N.E.D.A. are, from what I have heard, strongly serving the teams who are part of their activities. So, while the debate arena often seems locked in constant battle (no surprise given that debaters and their coaches--are at the forefront of these changes), the changing scene provides multiple educational opportunities for students. And, my guess is, that this will continue as we enter the 21st century.

Coaching Staff, Fall 1994

Director of Forensics

James Hanson

Assistant Director of Forensics

Ryan J. Hagemann

Assistant Director of Debate

Charlotte Smith

Student Assistant

Nicole Levin

Coaching Assistant

Jennifer Becker

Chair, Department of Speech

Robert M. Withycombe

President, Whitman College

Thomas E. Cronin

Competitors, Whitman Forensics, Fall 1994

Amanda Elegant, Andy Backlund, Chris White, Dave Perry, Erin Carlson, Jared Phillips, David Kearney , Jessie Sherwood, Jill Winder, Karen Skantze, Katy Dixon, Kerrie Leitch, Kristofer Peterson, Sean Harris, Shannon Henderson, Steve Rowe, Steve Pointer, Tim Clairmont

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