Whitman Forensics Newsletter

Vol. 11, No. 1, December, 2004

 

 

The 2004 Prep Session: Welcoming the old and new

               Policy, Parli, and Individual Events competitors came back to Whitman a week before school started in order to get a jump on the coming year of debate. This year, Whitman debate is larger than ever with 32 students involved full time with the program. Twelve more students have been involved at least minimally, making a total of 44 total team members, also a record for the fall semester.

 

          The parliamentary debate people got to work with their new coach, David Guidry. David covered the basics of parliamentary debate with the new students who also got to watch a heated demonstration debate by veterans Scott Thompson, Chandra Carlisle, Chris Chamness, and Beth Pearson. The experienced students spent the prep session writing new cases and devising new strategies they could use during the coming season.

          Meanwhile, the policy debaters focused on a topic asking how the federal government can decrease non-governmental fossil

 

Dawn, Danielle, Hugo (back row), Chris and Steve (front row) at a team meeting.

fuel consumption. Needless to say, this topic is huge because it involves economic, international, and environmental issues—all of which the policy debaters are expected to be ready to engage over the course of the year.

          But the policy side of the program got off to a great start by producing thousands of pages of evidence and by having practice debates to get people back into the swing of things.

          We had several new members join the team this year on the parliamentary debate and Individual Events side of the program: Robert Crenshaw, a Kansas City, Missouri native, brings his charm and humor. Sarah McCarthy hails from Seattle. She had never debated before but her experience in mock trial and innate skill has given her the tools she needs to succeed in parli debate. Jeff Wilson, Montana transplant, is a talented debater who has been in elims at all three tournaments he attended this semester. Robert, Sarah, and Jeff are also talented singers. Chris Fryefield, an accomplished high school Lincoln-Douglas debater, joined up with sophomore Hugo Vargas for a successful semester.

 

    

Mike Meredith                                              Alex Bollinger and Rob Olsen.

 

          On the policy side, our recruits hale to our roots. Andrew Stokes (known as Barnes to Joe Carver for some unknown reason) came to Whitman from Timberline High School (coached by alum Thad Blank’s HS coach). Mike Meredith, hailing from the same prep school as former debater Mike Winnike, joined forces with Eric Chalfant from Oak Harbor (home of alums Charles Olney and Adam Symonds). Lastly, Curt Bowen from Centennial high school in Boise, Idaho (the program that produced alum Ryan Scoville) decided to shake up the debate world through the use of music in debate. Curt and his guitar, fuse with the rap and mixing skills of Joe Bornstein from Ashland, Oregon to advocate change on the debate circuit.

          Although getting ready to debate is important, the best part about the prep session is seeing debate friends again, making new friends, and having some fun. As always, there was a team barbeque. However, unlike years past, it was on the front lawn of Hunter. People chatted, enjoyed good food cooked up by Rob Olsen, and threw a Frisbee around. At one point, President Tom Cronin showed up to share some kind words with the debaters and to pump them up for another year of success.

 

Scooter and Bridget, two of the nation’s best!

 

Andrew and Meghan, nicknamed “The All American Team.”

 

Jeff works on his best Zizek imitation.

Bridget’s Triumphant Return

               Last Spring, Bridget Kustin left her shabbily dressed, yet extremely successful, debate partner, Chris Gorman, in order to expand her cultural horizons in India. This semester, she has returned in full force. Bridget and Scott Thompson (aka Scooter) have been in the finals of every Northwest tournament they’ve attended—and Bridget was second speaker at Reed College (run by alum Keola Whittaker), the first tournament of the year.

          Although Bridget is no stranger to success, coming back to debate was a little rocky for her. During the prep time of Bridget and Scooter’s first practice debate, Bridget asked Scooter, “What do you call those things you use to write the case?” Scooter replied, “You mean observations?” “Yeah, that’s it!” Bridget exclaimed. Despite this small stumbling block, the practice debate went fairly well.

          Quickly, Bridget got her groove back. During her powerful speech in the finals round at the Reed tournament, she didn’t miss a beat. It seemed like she had never left her spot as one of the most formidable debaters in the nation. Welcome back Bridget!

 

The Gonzaga Tournament is a Success for the Policy Debaters

          The Gonzaga University debate tournament used to be a warm-up tournament for debaters in the Northwest. Through the hard work of the Gonzaga coaching staff, they have managed to turn the small scrimmage into a tournament that draws talented debaters from all over the country. And despite the increased difficulty of the tournament, our policy debaters were up to the challenge. Mike Meredith and Eric Chalfant, both first years, made it to early elimination rounds where they had the unfortunate draw of debating the zany West Georgia team. Ross Richendrfer and Matt Schissler also made it to the elimination rounds where they lost a tough debate against the University of Southern California. Ben Meiches and Jeff Buntin rolled their “Zizek” craziness to the quarterfinals. Finally, Beth Schueler and Eric Suni, using good old policy arguments, made it to the semifinals. A great showing for the first tournament!

 


 

 

 

Dave Guidry is our new parliamentary debate coach!

 

Joe Carver, returns as the policy debate coach.

 

Katie Imbeau is back for more interp coaching.

 

Andrew Lum takes over as our team assistant! Rob Olsen, Andrew Stokes, and Patrick Carter also help out.

 

Staff: Jim Hanson, Director of Forensics, Joe Carver, Assistant Policy Coach; David Guidry, Assistant Parliamentary and I.E. Coach; Andrew Lum, Student Assistant and Intramural Debate Manager; Katie Imbeau, Dramatic Interpretation Student Assistant; Bob Withycombe, Chair, Rhetoric and Film Studies; and Thomas Cronin, President, Whitman College.

 

2004-2005 Staff

          Jim rounded up most of the usual suspects to return as this year’s staff with a few notable exceptions. Sadly two of our team members have moved on to bigger and better things. Samantha Howell graduated last May and went back to Kentucky to pursue a career in activism and social justice. She was replaced by the hard working sophomore, Andrew Lum (fondly known as Lum Lum).

          After two years of coaching, and four years of debating for Whitman, Brian Danielson finally decided to say goodbye to Walla Walla and head to the land of palm trees for graduate school at CSU Long Beach. He was replaced by a policy debate cross-over, David Guidry. David debated on the policy side of the program from 2000 to 2003.

          Returning to the coaching staff for another year are veterans Joe Carver and Katie Imbeau. Joe heads up the policy side of the program with a little help from alum Thad Blank and Brian Simmonds. Even though Joe had to endure the personal hardship of losing family property to the hurricanes in Florida earlier this year, he and Thad managed to lead the policy side of the program to success early in the season. Thad is off to Latin America again so Brian Simmonds will help out in the second semester. Katie, a student coach, returns to offer her vast expertise in interpretation events. Katie is graduating at the end of this year but Jim has already announced that Stephen Reed will take her place.

 

If You’re in Parliamentary Debate Finals, You’re Debating Whitman

          The parli debaters are rocking the debate house this semester. At the Reed tournament, Bridget and Scott were in the finals of the open division; James Hovard and Sarah McCarthy won the novice division of the tournament. At the Lewis and Clark Tournament, Bridget and Scott were in open division finals again, Patrick Carter and Stephen Reed won the junior division, and Cat Posey and Laura Hanson won the novice division of the tournament. Then, at Pacific Lutheran University, Bridget and Scott won open division finals while Jeff Wilson and James Hovard won the junior division. In all, Whitman was in the finals round of every single division of parliamentary debate in the Northwest they entered in the fall. Pretty amazing stuff.

 

The Policy Debaters Hold a Public Debate on Oil Consumption

          In October, the Whitman policy debaters decided to put a bit of their topic specific knowledge to work by engaging the campus community with a public debate on automobile fuel consumption standards. Coach Joe Carver paired up with first year Mike Meredith to debate against the formidable team of junior Eric Suni and sophomore Meghan Hughes.

Eric and Meghan argued that the United States federal government should establish an industry standard that requires manufacturers to produce cars that average 40 miles of travel per gallon of gas. In the first speech, Meghan contended that without this reduction in fuel usage, oil shocks will inevitably wreck the world economy because oil is a finite resource. Mike and Joe argued that a 40 m.p.g. regulation would be infeasible because such a swift change would heavily damage the automobile industry and that consumers would not be responsive to the changes. After the debate, the audience, made up of students, professors, and other community members, explored the topic during an open question and answer period.

 

BIGGEST EVER! 44 Competitors, Fall 2004: Alex Bollinger, Andrew Deming, Andrew Hookum, Andrew Lum, Andrew Stokes, Ben Meiches, Beth Pearson, Beth Schueler, Bridget Kustin, Cat Posey, Chandra Carlisle, Chris Chamness, Chris Fryefield, Curt Bowen, Dan Shaw, Danielle Williamson, Dawn Holmes, Eric Chalfant, Eric Suni, Hannah Elisha, Hugo Vargas, Jackie Jenkins, James Hovard, Jeff Buntin, Jeff Wilson, Jordan Kline, Joseph Bornstein, Kathryn Bergh, Kern McGee, Kyle Gotchy, Laura Hanson, Matt Schissler, Meghan Hughes, Mike Meredith, Nat Jacob, Nikita Parekh, Patrick Carter, Rob Olsen, Robert Crenshaw, Ross Richendrfer, Sally Sorte, Sarah McCarthy, Scott Thompson, Stephen Reed

 

Cat wants to know which pictures of her are really going to appear in the Newsletter. Whichever ones Jim picks Cat!!!

Cat Posey, Chris Chamness, James Hovard.

 

Thanks from the Whitman Debate Team!

          The Whitman parliamentary debaters have garnered a huge amount of success this semester.  Hard work and talent paid off for these debaters, but the result of our success stems from more than just these two attributes. Our achievements are integrally linked to the support that debaters’ families have shown us over the semester.

          The Chamness family put up the entire team for the Reed and Lewis and Clark tournaments in Portland, Oregon. As if that wasn’t enough, they also made breakfast and dinner for us each and every day—and, at the end of the trip, they would send us packing with treats for each Whitman vehicle. Moreover, it just felt like coming home at the end of the day.

          Both the Reed and Thompson families were very helpful in our domination of the Pacific Lutheran University tournament. On our way to Tacoma, the Reed family invited us into their house for a quick dinner stop—where we had enough Chinese food to feed a small army. Then the Thompson family not only housed and fed over half of the parliamentary debaters, they also let Jim stay in their house by himself one day so he could catch up on work and they even went to the store just to bring him some low-carb food!

          So, a special thanks to these families for inviting us into their homes from the Whitman squad. Without your support we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the tremendous amount of success that we have had during the fall semester. Thank you!

 



 

 

Fall Intramural Tournament Biggest in its new Decade

This fall’s IM Contest was the biggest since we restarted the event some 10 years ago.  Debaters argued over the topic “Alternative Core should be required for all sophomores” while Dramatic Interpers chose their pieces.  Tom Cronin sent Jim an e-mail congratulating him on the success of the contest as did several other professors.  Top honors were taken by Nikita Parekh, Dan Shaw, and Sally Sorte in the Interpretation events. The top 3 inexperienced debaters were Andrew Telesca (First) and Drew Shoals, Max Hensley, and Sam Booch (Second). The experienced division ended in a two-way tie for first place between Carl Edwards and Kim Schlesinger.  Taking third place was Matt Jumago.

 

 

       

Jim—trim that hippie! 

 

Beth--Rhodes Scholar!!! 

  

Joseph smiles.

  

Joe and Ross hang out.

 

Matt Schissler, winner of the worst gift recipient at the Winter Holiday Party.

 

Dancing Dave Guidry.

 

Cat, Chris, and Robert smile in front of Samantha’s “sad” bunny.

 

Pepperdine Tournament: Awards and More Awards

               The Whitman College Policy Debate team made its first trip to the Pepperdine tournament in years a memorable one. Director Jim Hanson and Assistant Joe Carver traveled six teams to the Malibu, California tournament. In attendance were Eric Suni and Beth Schueler, Ben Meiches and Jeff Buntin, Ross Richendrfer and Matt Schissler, Meghan Hughes and Andrew Stokes, Eric Chalfant and Mike Meredith, and Curt Bowen and Joseph Bornstein.

          In Junior division, the team of Bowen and Bornstein cleared to quarter finals. In Senior division, Ross and Matt, after going 4-2 in preliminaries, dropped in Partial Double Octo-finals to Georgia State while Eric and Beth and Jeff and Ben advanced without debating. In Octo-finals, Eric and Beth lost a heartbreaker to USC while Jeff and Ben advanced over Long Beach and Redlands in octas and quarters. In semis, Jeff and Ben’s run ended with a loss to a Cal Berkeley team.

          In addition to receiving multiple speaker awards, Whitman was excited to find that Dr Jim Hanson was awarded Pepperdine’s Coach of the Year award. This is the second such award in as many years for Jim as he was awarded the prestigious Coach of the Year award at Wake Forest last November as well.  All in all it was a very successful weekend for Whitman garnering a 3rd place, 9th place and 17th place Sr. finish and a 5th place finish in JV.

 

WNDI 2004! One of the nation’s premier camps for high school debaters.

 

Whitman’s Debate Camp

Receiving rave reviews, this summer’s camp filled up the residence hall with over 80 debaters and several coaches from across the country. Jim notes “It is a lot of work for everyone involved but it is a great way for our team members to earn money during the summer and it is a great recruiting tool as high schoolers get a feel for Whitman College and our team.” The camp is held in late July through August and we’re ready to go for 2005!

 

Whitman College Goes to Minnesota with a Rhodes Detour!

          Whitman College attended one of the largest tournaments in the past thirty years in Minnesota, home of ten thousand lakes and the Super Mall. Originally, Bridget Kustin, Scott Thompson, Chris Chamness, and Beth Pearson were scheduled to compete but, at the last minute, Beth found out that she had to interview for and win a Rhodes scholarship instead! Beth’s project for the disabled in the third world was well received by the Rhodes committee. We are very proud of her!

          In her place, Alex Bollinger joined Chris Chamness to debate together along with Scott and Bridget in parli debate, Alex and Scott were in NFA-LD, and Bridget was in Parli-LD. Alex, using his keen intellect and skillful charge of “You are crazy,” made it to the finals in NFA-LD. Unfortunately, Alex and Scott were slated to debate each other in the quarterfinals and Scott was walked over. Bridget wowed the final panel in Parli-LD, busting out her French skills to talk about trade relations with France.

          The two teams also did extremely well in parli debate. Bridget and Scott went undefeated while Alex and Chris lost only one debate in the preliminary round. Alex and Chris made it to the octofinals and Bridget and Scott made it to the semifinals where they had a tough debate against a very charming team from Western Kentucky. Overall, it was a great weekend for Whitman debate although we only got to see six of the ten thousand lakes.

 

               

Eating at the Party

 

Winter Holiday Party is a hit again!

          Hosted by Jim himself, this year’s Winter Holiday Party served as a vile reminder of crass commercialism, overt competitive instincts, and gluttonous eating. In other words, the team loved it! Each team member received a stocking bag filled with candies, pens, sticky pads, and assorted and rather bizarre toys including a plastic rock (huh—what was that?). The team’s gift exchange turned into a free for all fight with arguments erupting over who would get the incense set, the speakers, poker chips, and then who would win the new and highly coveted “worst gift” award which went to Matt Schissler who picked a gift of three smarmy romance novels. Jim was quite pleased with the exchange as he built up his collection of Bratz dolls. Alum Kristofer Peterson, who was visiting Jim, joined in on the festivities and provided ingredients for a vegetarian chili and salad. Jim, of course, retaliated with barbeque beef and chicken stew.  With special guest appearances by Bob Withycombe, and recent graduate Chris Gorman, the night was a lot of fun.

Dave, Danielle and Chris enjoy good times at the Winter Party.

 

 

 

 

                 

            Stephen Reed                                   Chandra Carlisle                  Hugo Vargas

 

 

Walker and Withycombe Fund Contributions

We are grateful for your contributions to the forensic team! Generous donors June 1, 2004 through December 12, 2004 include: Janice Berman, Brian Danielson, Karin Dwelle, Rebekah Foster, Beverly and Robert Handon, Sean Harris, Scott Jones, Charlotte and David McClusky, Jim Hanson, Kristofer Peterson, and Robert Withycombe. If we missed you, please tell us because we do appreciate your support!

SEND CONTRIBUTIONS to: Annual Fund Office; Whitman College; Walla Walla WA 99362. Checks should be made out to Whitman College with a note that says to place the contribution into the Walker or Withycombe Fund.

 

 

      

   Beth talks with Robert                             Chris and Sarah smile at a meeting        

 

          

    Beth enjoys her coffee.              Jeff and Rob try out a webcam.

 

Whitman IE’s Rock!

               Just check the results below and you’ll see dramatic success for Sarah, Andrew, Hugo, Stephen, Cat, Kyle, and Chris. Add in our new love of NFA-LD; Beth, Laura, and Chris’s Extemp skills; plus Danielle’s ADS, Patrick’s CA, and Bridget’s Inform. And take notice of the well received and team sponsored play with Sarah, James, Chris, Robert, Dawn, Andrew, and Stephen! This team is set to go for the second semester and to keep our IE’s rockin!

 

 

 

 

Policy Awards

BEN MEICHES AND JEFF BUNTIN: Gonzaga, QUARTERS; Kentucky, DOUBLES, Pepperdine, SEMIS, Wake Forest, DOUBLES.

BETH SCHUELER AND ERIC SUNI: Gonzaga, SEMIS, Kentucky, DOUBLES; Pepperdine, OCTAS; Wake Forest, DOUBLES.

CURT BOWEN AND JOSEPH BORNSTEIN: Pepperdine, QUARTERS, JV.

ERIC CHALFANT AND MIKE MEREDITH: Gonzaga, DOUBLES.

MATT SCHISSLER AND ROSS RICHENDRFER: Gonzaga, DOUBLES; Pepperdine, DOUBLES.

 

Parli Awards

ALEX BOLLINGER AND CHRIS CHAMNESS: Century-Minnesota, OCTAS.

ALEX BOLLINGER AND JACKIE JENKINS: Reed, QUARTERS.

BETH PEARSON AND CHRIS CHAMNESS: Reed, QUARTERS; Lewis and Clark, OCTAS.

BRIDGET KUSTIN AND SCOTT THOMPSON: Reed, SECOND; Lewis and Clark, SECOND; PLU, FIRST; Century-Minnesota, SEMIS.

CAT POSEY AND LAURA HANSON: Lewis and Clark, Nov, FIRST; PLU, JV, OCTAS.

CHRIS FRYEFIELD AND HUGO VARGAS: Lewis and Clark, SEMIS, PLU, OCTAS.

JAMES HOVARD AND SARAH MCCARTHY: Reed, Novice, FIRST; Lewis and Clark, JV, OCTAS.

JAMES HOVARD AND JEFF WILSON: PLU, JV, FIRST.

JEFF WILSON AND ROBERT CRENSHAW: Reed, OCTAS; Lewis and Clark, JV, OCTAS.

PATRICK CARTER AND STEPHEN REED: Lewis and Clark, JV, FIRST; PLU, OCTAS.

 

Individual Events Awards

ALEX BOLLINGER: NFA-LD, SECOND, Century; FIRST, PLU

ANDREW LUM AND HUGO VARGAS: DUO, FIRST, Lewis and Clark

BETH PEARSON: EXTEMP, FOURTH, Lewis and Clark; THIRD, PLU

BRIDGET KUSTIN: INFORMATIVE, FINALIST, PLU; PARLI-LD, FIRST, Century-Minnesota

CAT POSEY: POI, THIRD, Lewis and Clark; PROSE, SECOND, Nov, PLU

CHRIS CHAMNESS: DRAMATIC, FINALIST, Nov., PLU

CHRIS FRYEFIELD: EXTEMP, THIRD, JV., Lewis and Clark; FIANLIST, JV, PLU

DANIELLE WILLIAMSON: ADS, FINALIST, PLU

KYLE GOTCHY: DRAMATIC, SECOND, Nov., Lewis and Clark

LAURA HANSON: Extemp, FIRST, Lewis and Clark

PATRICK CARTER: CA, FIRST, Lewis and Clark

ROB OLSEN: NFA-LD, FIRST, PLU

ROBERT CRENSHAW: NFA-LD, SEMIS, Reed

SARAH MCCARTHY: DRAMATIC, FIRST, Nov., Lewis and Clark,

SCOTT THOMPSON: NFA-LD, FIRST, Reed; QUARTERS, Century

STEPHEN REED: DRAMATIC, FIFTH, Lewis and Clark

 
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