Forensics team wins major debates


Rebecca Dominguez

The Forensics Team continues its win streak this semester after winning 10 awards.

Rebecca Dominguez, Web Editor

Through dedication and solid support, Santa Rosa Junior College’s forensics team won numerous awards, beating out other two-year colleges and four-year universities.

Team members participate in various events from individual speaking competitions to team debates. There are platforms for poetry, impromptu speeches, extemporaneous speaking, interpretive pieces and other forms of speech and debate.

This semester alone, SRJC’s forensics team won 10 awards in its first tournament at San Francisco State University’s Golden Gate Opener in September. It took the top four individual speaker awards and many others at the Santa Rosa Invitational Oct. 10-11. The team won first place in community college debate sweepstakes, as well as other awards at the University of Nevada Invitational Speech Tournament.

Though the forensics team has been continuously successful at tournaments, that is just a small aspect of being part of the team.

Faculty coach and communications instructor Mark Nelson said the coaches and team “create a culture where students want to succeed and take pride in what they’re doing.”

SRJC students Sierra Maciorowski and James Rogers, currently ranked as the No. 1 two-year college team in the U.S., both said they gained much from being on the crew.

Maciorowski said the squad is supportive, but also pushes her to try new types of speaking and do things in different ways. The team environment is important and helpful.

“We get access to a group of people who are always interested. The intellectual vitality of our team room is helpful when preparing for events,” she said.

Rogers said being a part of the team expanded his critical thinking and provided good networking opportunities.

He also spoke on what led to the their success: Hal Sanford, director of forensics.

“His manner is perfectly suited for fostering intellectually curious people and the institutional support of the college’s financial backing, combined with the coaches and alumni, is what sets the SRJC apart,” Rogers said.

Overall the forensics team has seen success in tournaments, as well as in building a community for its students to grow.

“The combination of the coaches, alumni and motivated, energetic students is a potent concoction,” Sanford said.