Whitman College Forensics

A Newsletter of the Whitman College Forensics Team, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1997

Team Builds Unity and Friendships

The Fall 1997 Whitman Team

          Our team knows how to have fun, after all, we are more than just a competitive team, we are friends.

          Before the school year started, CEDA debate members met to spend a week researching and discussing their new year-long topic addressing Southeast Asia. During the productive week, the team took time to relax and to get to know each other. Our team bonding day started with bowling where the coaching staff learned we could always form a bowling league if debate funds were cut. After working up an appetite, the team ate tacos at a local restaurant followed by a thriller movie.

          After school started and preparation for the season was well underway, it was time again for another team bonding experience. The day started with an intense, yet light-hearted game of Trivia Pursuit to test our minds. Then the team took over campus in a game of ‘Capture the Flag’ that tested our hearts and legs. Yes, forensics is an athletic event (although you wouldn’t know it by watching Jim run across Ankeny)! We ended the action packed day at Jim’s home with a game of Psychiatrist and some grilled seafood.

Whitman is the Place to Be.

Whitman is moving forward in leaps and bounds. US News and World Report in its annual review of colleges recognized Whitman as the only college in the Northwest to be ranked as a top tier national liberal arts school.

But don’t worry, our success has not gone to our heads. Instead it has brought together many of the best and the brightest in the US and the World . . . many of whom join the Speech and Debate Team. Our fast growing team appeals to a diverse group of students. Our team consists of students from Kenya, Africa and Hawaii as well as numerous multicultural backgrounds including Mexican, Filipino, Asian and African-American.

Not only is the team Diverse we are successful. Many members are former state champions, nationally competitive or were exceptional competitors. We also have many new students who have never competed in Speech and Debate in their life. Every single one of these new members walked away with two trophies at their first tournament.

Patty Bayley and Kelly Schultz are glad they are on the Whitman Forensics Squad

New team members this year include Aaron Walters, San Diego Novice, Beau Brandow, outstanding Olympia HS debater, Bobby deGrouchy, Rhetoric Student and Garrett Fellow, Brant Olson, excellent Boise debater, Brian Danielson, Oregon Impromptu Speaking Award Winner, Carolyn Kamau, "The Crazy Kenyan" and amazing Interper, Carrie Mitchell, Oregon Trophy Winning Speaker, Kelly Schultz, New to Forensics, Keola Whittaker, Hawaiian and now VP of ASWC, Kristen Weaver, Outstanding young speaker, Mike Caughey, NFL Nationals Elim Participant, Patty Bayley, Bellevue Speaker Extraordinaire, Ryan Scoville, second place winner at the Berkeley tournament, Sean Collins, first place winner, Washington State AAA State Championship, and Tony Torres, fantastic Texas LD debater.

These new members join outstanding returning debaters including junior Adam Symonds, 17th place at CEDA Nationals, senior Chiasha Dickens, first place winner in oratory at three consecutive tournaments in a row, senior David Kearney, ninth place winner at NPDA Nationals, Dave Perry, winner of multiple Parliamentary debate awards, senior Erin Carlson, outstanding CEDA debater, sophomore Jason Liu, first year CEDA Nats elim participant, sophomore Jessica Clarke, also first year CEDA Nats elim participant, sophomore Lisa Beyl, amazing young CEDA debater, junior Matthew Johnson, former CEDA debater and now on the Parliamentary Debate squad, junior Peter Stiffler, team helper in CEDA and Parliamentary debate, and senior, Sean Harris, "Molasses," and 17th place at CEDA Nationals.

Whitman is the place to be for an outstanding education and a great Speech and Debate Team. New, returning, and graduated students have expressed the value of their involvement on the squad and the great fun they have had (alumni) and continue to have (current students).

The 1997-1998 Coaching Staff

Head coach Jim Hanson proudly holds on to the Lewis and Clark First Place Sweepstakes Trophy.

          Whitman’s Speech and Debate Team welcomes some new and veteran coaches for the new school year. Our fearless Director of Forensics Jim Hanson toils day and night to ensure Whitman College remains on top! Drawing on his success both as a coach and former competitor, Jim is always available to help students develop their skills and give them advice they need to be successful. Jim is on the verge of getting a Ph.D. Soon he will be called Dr. Jim. Is there a Dr. in the House? If he finishes in early December, one of his first moves will be to go to Disneyland during a California Swing Tournament over winter break. What more can one ask for than a Ph.D. and a vacation!

          Joining the staff as Assistant Director of Forensics is Diana Thomson. An Australian native, Diana brings a Communication Major from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She competed in Parliamentary Debate and Individual Events and her accomplishments include 17th place at the 1997 National Parliamentary Debate Association National Tournament. She qualified in three individual events to NFA Nationals. With almost no previous exposure to Mexican cuisine, Diana is learning to appreciate some of the best homemade Mexican food in the Northwest, which is located conveniently within walking distance of the college.

Diana Thomson, our new Paliamentary-IE Assistant poses with first year student Keola Whittaker.

J.P. Lacy smiles for the camera as he continues to research for the team.

          Also joining the team and flying in from Switzerland is American born J.P. Lacy. J.P. graduated from James Madison University where he earned a degree in Social Studies. J.P. and his debate partner were Octa-finalists at NDT Nationals in 1992. Since then, he has coached NDT debate at Wake Forest College and policy debate at a local high school. J.P. is in the process of giving up smoking but has become addicted to nicorette gum and coffee. Beyond his addiction, J.P. remains in good humor and is excited about coaching such a nationally competitive team.

          Returning from last year, Becky Galentine, Assistant CEDA Coach, offers advice all the way from Seattle. Becky continues to be in the team’s thoughts and prayers as she fights breast cancer. She is dedicated to offering helpful advice and words of wisdom. Becky’s determination and presence are a source of inspiration and great help to the squad.

          Ryan J. Hagemann continues on the Whitman coaching team as Assistant Parliamentary Debate and Individual Events Coach. Ryan was a very successful competitor and brings his experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the staff. After working at the Communitarian Network in Washington D.C., Ryan has started his second year as an Admission Officer at Whitman College. After a very busy schedule recruiting the best and the brightest for Whitman, Ryan is ready to lend a helping ear to the coaching staff and team.

          Abby St. Lawrence, sophomore, continues her position as student assistant and intramural debate coordinator. She has been known to state her opinions rather forcefully, a product of her LD debate experience in high school and her personality. However, she is an amazing help and even manages to keep Jim organized.

Abby St. Lawrence is the Student Assistant and Intramural Debate Coordinator.

With a fast growing team of outstanding Debaters and Individual Events competitors, our experienced coaching staff is ready to take on any challenge!

CEDA-NDT ranked 25th in the nation

CEDA-NDT Debaters pose for the camera.

          Our CEDA-NDT debate squad continues to be a nationally competitive team as the season opens. Whitman started out strong in its first competition of the year. At the Western Washington University Scrimmage, sophomore Jessica Clark and first year student Ryan Scoville placed fifth and senior Sean Harris and Junior Adam Symonds placed third. Receiving individual speaker awards, Sean took eighth with his partner Adam accepting third place.

          Their success carried over to the next tournament where Whitman took first place. In junior division, first year student Mike Caughey and sophomore Lisa Beyl took second place. In Open Division, Jessica and Ryan placed fifth with Sean and Adam settling for nothing but first. Indeed, Sean and Adam did not lose a round—going 9-0. Receiving speaking awards, Lisa took 5th, Mike 3rd, and Adam and Sean took 2nd and 1st respectively.

Sean Harris checks files in his tubs. Sean and partner Adam are 23-3.

          At the Central Oklahoma "Joe Jackson" Invitational, both teams advanced to out rounds. In open division, Jessica and Ryan went 5-2 and placed 9th losing in a close 2-1 decision against Arizona State. Sean and Adam went undefeated in their preliminary debates amassing a 7-0 record. They followed that with two 3-0 wins in double-octas and octa-finals. They lost in quarters and placed 5th.

Currently Whitman’s CEDA-NDT team is ranked 25th in the NDT Varsity Rankings. Jim is impressed with the maturity and dedication of debate team members. "I’m confident the team will continue to improve upon its already outstanding accomplishments."

Parliamentary Debate Team Wins First Tournament of the Year.

Dave Perry and David Kearney are among the best in the nation in Parliamentary Debate. They took ninth at the national circuit Colorado College tournament.

Whitman’s parliamentary teams were ready for their first tournament of the season. In open division at Lewis and Clark, first year student Brian Danielson and partner senior Dave Perry placed 5th in senior division! Their teammates junior Matt Johnson and senior Chiasha Dickens swept the tournament; an amazing feat given that it was only Chiasha’s second time debating. Matt and Chiasha defeated the University of Alaska in finals to take first place.

Whitman continued to maintain its level of excellence in Colorado two weeks later. In grueling competition, Senior David Kearney and Senior Dave Perry advanced to elimination rounds with a 5-1 record. They lost a close octa-finals round to a team consisting of one member of last year’s National Champion Parliamentary Debate Team.

To date, Whitman is ranked 16th in parliamentary debate among over 200 colleges and universities in the United States. Coach Jim Hanson is excited with the strong start to the season and looks forward to a strong finish in later competitions.

The Parliamentary Debaters and Individual Events Competitors on the Whitman Fall 1997 Squad.


Individual Events Team Starts the Season with a Bang.

Carolyne Kamau and Brant Olson listen in during a team meeting.

          Whitman speechies took the Lewis and Clark tournament by storm. With a growing number of competitors, almost every competitor advanced to out-rounds in at least one event.

          In an outstanding performance, first year student Tony Torres placed 1st in Junior Informative Speaking; first year student Aaron Walters, 2nd in Junior Informative Speaking and 2nd in Junior Extemp; Sophomore Robert DeGrouchy was a finalist in both Novice Extemp and Impromptu; first year student Carolyn Kamau, 4th Open Poetry; Senior Dave Perry, 1st Junior Extemp; first year student Carrie Mitchell, 2nd Junior Extemp and Junior Matt Johnson was a finalist in Junior Extemp.

          At Colorado College, Junior Matt Johnson placed 3rd in Open Lincoln-Douglas Debate going undefeated in preliminary rounds. Overall, the Speech team has started strong and is busy preparing for its next competition where coaches expect an equally strong performance.

Team Reflects upon Accomplishments as it Prepares for the Second Semester.

After taking a moment to relax and study for finals, students and the coaching staff are excited about an outstanding end to our first semester. Overall, Whitman took first in Sweepstakes at Lewis and Clark while winning numerous awards at five tournaments.

The travel schedule for second semester includes many tournaments before nationals. The squad will travel to California, Kansas, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, and New York. Students are gearing up to compete against teams from all over the country and practices are already underway to ensure Whitman stays on top.

Bobby deGrouchy, Carrie Mitchell, Chiasha Dickens, and Aaron Walters have fun at the Lewis and Clark tournament.

Whitman Hosts Huge High School Tournament.

Jessica Clarke and Adam Symonds enter data into the debate tournament software.

          Over the November 14-15th weekend, Whitman hosted its annual High School Speech and Debate Tournament. Over sixty schools from five states braved fierce competition and a tight schedule for the honor of being the number one school at the tournament.

          Whitman staff, students, and speech and debate team members worked diligently for a week to ensure everything ran smoothly. Over 1000 competitors, coaches and judges were involved in Individual Events, Policy and Lincoln-Douglas debates and Student Congress. Individual events consisted of over 650 slots in junior and senior divisions with the largest event, junior impromptu, containing almost 100 competitors. The unusually large number, 20% bigger than the previous year and 70% bigger than two years ago, placed a large strain on the college and the team. Jim noted that "We used Bob Withycombe’s home for 9 debates at one point. We had to use the Travelodge and the Howard Johnson’s. Next year, we are going to institute very strict entry limits."

Even though this was our largest tournament to date, our awards ceremony finished on schedule. Two other colleges in the Northwest were so impressed with our time management skills that they asked for our schedule to imitate.

The squad is thankful for support from professors and students at Whitman, competitors and school coaches. Next year, alternations will be made to the schedule to ensure Whitman can continue to host a tournament of this magnitude and level of excellence.

Intramural Debates Heat Up Campus.

Bobby deGrouchy and Patty Bayley enjoy the intramural debates.

          Continuing our respected tradition of on-campus speaking and debating, the team hosted two intramural debate contests this fall. An added incentive of money and food convinced many future politicians and poor college students to carry on the torch of rhetorical excellence in a battle of the minds. With both experienced and inexperienced categories, around 50 debates occurred to determine who would walk away with fabulous cash prizes and a t-shirt or coffee mug.

          The first round of debates saw students battling to determine whether the media coverage of public figures ought to be limited in the US. Experienced Winners, First Contest: First, Derek Banducci and James Kuwahara (tie). Inexperienced Winners, First Contest: First, Justin Vitcov and Shane Milam (tie), Third, Brian Borton. At the second round of debates, students argued whether Whitman should have a sophomore diversity course, something that really is under consideration. Experienced Winners, Second Contest: First, Jason Liu; Second, Keola Whittaker, Third, Derek Banducci; Inexperienced Winners, Second Contest: First, Jeff Regelin, Second, Andy Braff, Third, Eric Odegard; Group Winners at the Second Contest: First, Beta Theta Pi including John Gunderson, Alex Coring, Jeff Regelin, and Trace Blethen; Second, Rhetoric 110 including Mike Austin, Shane Milam, and Derek Banducci

Carrie Mitchell, Aaron Walters and Carolyne Kamau work on the Extemp Box.

Hunter Conservatory waits for Team

          Next year, the old Music Building on campus is ready to hear voices of a different range. After undergoing a face-lift and technological overhaul, the Rhetoric and Writing Departments, with Communication technology, are ready to move into the new and improved Hunter Conservatory.

          What does this mean for the team? Besides a shorter walk from the SUB (Student Union Building), students and staff will have new offices, a room full of computers and no one will need to fight for practice rooms! The team is very grateful for generous donations to the new conservatory!