Students participate in different type of public-speaking competition through Forensics

Gennifer Geer, Managing Editor

Everyone knows about debate and its second-place State Tournament trophy. First semester in room 716 is dominated by debaters working hard to out-argue the other schools in Kansas.
Compared to this, second semester seems empty.
Fear not. Every Saturday, BV Forensics students wake up bright and early — sometimes leaving the school by 5:50 am — and go off to compete in Forensics tournaments.
Forensics events are divided into two categories: public speaking and acting.
Most forensics students are public speakers. One of these students is senior Archana Vasa, a State qualifier in Domestic Extemporaneous speaking.
“I qualified by getting first place at the BV Northwest tournament,” Vasa said. “I hope to be a finalist at State.”
Vasa still participates in debate – forensics includes debate events, such as Lincoln-Douglas debate and Congressional debate. She said she hopes to qualify again this year for the national tournaments, sponsored by the National Forensics League and Catholic Forensics League, in Congressional debate.
Though Vasa mainly competes in public speaking events, she and senior Blake Staley entered Duet Acting “just for fun” and placed 6th at the Northwest tournament.
“It would be great if more actors could join the program,” Vasa said.
Freshman Gracie Goheen is one of those actors. She said she joined forensics because she alway loved acting, but the concept of acting in forensics was different from what she was used to.
“The idea of being able to choose your own pieces and compete with them caught my attention because it was something I’d never done before,” Goheen said.
Goheen said her performing greatly improved from her experiences in forensics. She learned how to choose strong scripts and present them with a personal flair, as well as building on what she already knows by competing in tournaments.
In tournaments, competitors receive comment sheets from judges with suggestions for improving the performance. Goheen said this helped her and she loves reading the tips. She also models her performances off of examples from upperclassmen .
Vasa said she tries to be one such example.
“I hope I can be a positive influence on the squad by encouraging underclassmen to reach their full potential,” Vasa said.
As of February 29, BV had students medal at all tournaments. March 2, BV will host a tournament of its own, and there will be only 6 more until State and National tournaments, which take place after Spring Break.
Both Vasa and Goheen think the squad has talent and a good chance of performing well at State.
“It would be fantastic if the squad could have a top 3 finish at State this year,” Vasa said.