University of Wisconsin–Madison Forensics Team

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University of Wisconsin–Madison Forensics Team
About the Team
University: University of Wisconsin–Madison
Location: Madison, WI
AFA District: District 4
Affiliations: National Forensics Association
American Forensics Association
Wisconsin Collegiate Forensics Association
Mid American Forensics League
Twin Cities Forensics League
Tournament: Badger Memorial Invitational
Hosted: Annually in November
Contact Information
Website: http://forensics.rso.wisc.edu
Email: forensics@rso.wisc.edu
Office: 4116 Helen C. White Hall
Mail: 420 South Hall
1055 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI
53706

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Forensics Team (also known as the UW–Madison Speech Team) is a student-run, nationally competitive individual events (speech) team located at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Forensics competitors hone the communication skills of writing, speaking, researching and brainstorming. The team competes in events which span the areas of public speaking, limited preparation and interpretation.

History[edit]

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has had a forensics program at various times in the school’s history. In 1989 and 1990, the team finished first and second, (Division I) in the country at the prestigious National Forensic Association National Tournament. These first-ever national placings were accompanied by five individual events national champions and an overall pentathlon champion (Stephanie Kaplan, 1990). Despite these successes, budget cuts forced the team to be discontinued in 1991.

Rebirth of the team[edit]

Recognizing the importance of a forensics program, freshmen Christopher Klundt, Brian Schaefers, and Lindsay Barone restarted the program in 2001. Working with a small group of interested undergraduates, they scraped together support for travel, worked without a coach, and spent over $800 per person "out of pocket" to offset the costs of competition.[original research?]

After gaining some financial support from the Associated Students of Madison (the University's student government) and the Letters & Science Honors Program, the team was able to afford a coach and subsidized travel. This resulted in a third place state finish, a 51st place finish at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET), and a 16th place finish at the National Forensic Association National Tournament (Div. I).

Recent history[edit]

In 2007 the team had its best finish since reforming in 2001, placing third (Div I) at the NFA National Tournament and 23rd at the AFA-NIET. Along with these two team finishes, the UW–Madison had their third national final round appearance in just two years, with the Duo team of Emily Barsness and Thom Rehwaldt, who placed 5th.

Coaching[edit]

The team's part-time coach is Ben Jedd. The team's volunteer coaches are Vishal Jain (of Louisiana State University), team founder Christopher Klundt, and other UW-Madison alumni.

Events[edit]

Platform Speeches[edit]

Platform Speeches are designed to either persuade or inform an audience on a topic of interest. They are original speeches, prepared before the tournament, memorized, and are 10 minutes in length. Multiple sources should be cited throughout the speech. Audio-visual aids and/or handouts may or may not be used to supplement/reinforce the message.

  • Persuasion: An original speech by the student designed to inspire, reinforce, or change the beliefs, attitudes, values, or actions of the audience.
  • Informative: An original, factual speech by the student on a realistic subject to fulfill the general aim to inform the audience.
  • Rhetorical Criticism: Also known as Communication Analysis. An original speech by the student designed to offer an explanation and/or evaluation of a communication event such as a speech, speaker, movement, poem, poster, film, campaign, etc. through the use of rhetorical principles.
  • After-Dinner Speaking: An original humorous speech by the student designed to persuade, inform, or analyze. The speech should not resemble a night club act, an impersonation, or comic dialogue.

Limited Preparation[edit]

Limited Preparation events are designed to evaluate a speaker’s ability to construct a speech in a limited amount of time. They are prepared on the day of the tournament, with prep time determined by event.

  • Impromptu Speaking: An impromptu speech, serious in nature with topic selections varied by round, section by section. Topics will be of proverb nature. Speakers will have a total of 7 minutes for both preparation and speaking. Timing commences with the acceptance of the topic sheet. Limited notes are permitted. Each speaker in a section will choose to speak from one of the same two topics offered.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking: Speakers will be given a choice between several questions in the general area of current events, choose one, and have 30 minutes to prepare a speech that is the original work of the student. Speech must be supported with evidence from news publications and magazines. Maximum time limit for the speech is 7 minutes. Limited notes are permitted. Posting of topics will be staggered.

Interpretation Events[edit]

Interpretation Events are intended to present a piece of literature in an entertaining and moving manner. A piece should explore the entire range of emotions associated with any literature. Events are prepared before the tournament and memorized, but the speaker must hold script in the form of a “black book.” Maximum time is 10 minutes including original introduction.

  • Prose: A selection of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Play cuttings are prohibited. The focus of this category should be the development of a story.
  • Poetry: A selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Play cuttings are prohibited.
  • Dramatic Interpretation (DI): A cutting which represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary merit. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. The focus of this category should be the development of a character.
  • Program Oral Interpretation (POI): A program of thematically-linked selections of literary merit, chosen from a variety of sources. The focus of this category should be the development of a specific theme.
  • Duo: A cutting from a play or a thematically-linked program, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. The material may be drawn from stage, screen, radio, or any other written media. Focus should be off-stage and not to each other.

Nationals[edit]

Team Sweepstakes[edit]

NFA National Tournament

  • 1989: Div I - Champions

Development of the team (A Timeline)[edit]

1991

  • The 1989 Division I National Champion UW–Madison Forensics Team is discontinued because of budget cuts.

January 2002

  • Collegiate Forensics League of UW student organization founded.

February - April 2002

Summer 2002

Fall 2002

  • Students begin competing in October
  • Five tournaments were attended in the fall; five students qualified for the NFA national tournament, and at least one student made finals at every tournament.

Spring 2003

  • Team travels to the Novice National Tournament and places 3rd in Division I overall sweepstakes.

Summer 2003

  • ASM operations grant received for $1000.

Fall 2003

  • Three students qualify for the NFA national tournament.

Spring 2004

  • Team places first in Small Team Sweepstakes at the Jackson Purchase Swing in Kentucky.
  • Team placed third at the state tournament.
  • Eight students qualify for the NFA National Tournament, where the team placed 16th in Division II.
  • Team places 51st in the country at the AFA National tournament in Long Beach, California.

Fall 2004

  • Earned five qualifications for the AFA National Tournament and 15 for the NFA National Tournament.

Spring 2005

  • Team places third at state tournament, with two state champions and second place overall speaker.
  • Five students qualify for the AFA National Tournament in 15 events.
  • Eight students qualify for the NFA National Tournament in 21 events.
  • Team wins TCFL tournament February 15.
  • Team places eighth (Div. I) at the NFA National Tournament, and has one quarterfinalist.

Spring 2006

  • Team places second at Wisconsin State Tournament.
  • Team places 26th at the AFA National Tournament, and has two national finalists.
  • Team places sixth (Div. I) at the NFA National Tournament

Spring 2007

  • Team places second at Wisconsin State Tournament.
  • Team places 23rd at the AFA National Tournament.
  • Team places third (Div. I) at the NFA National Tournament.

Summer 2007

  • Team teaches a public speaking course through the UW PEOPLE Program.

Spring 2008

  • Three UW students qualify for the AFA National Individual Events Tournament in Austin, Texas.
  • 15 students qualify for the NFA National Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Team places second at the Wisconsin State Tournament.
  • Team places 26th at the AFA National Tournament.
  • Team places 6th (Div. I) at the NFA National Tournament.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]