Huskies win big at Illinois Intercollegiate Forensics Association State tournament

NIU+sign+on+Oct.+13.+

Patrick Murphy

NIU sign on Oct. 13.

Elisa Reamer, News Reporter

DeKALB – The NIU forensics team competed at the Illinois Intercollegiate Forensics Association State tournament this past weekend where six students advanced and five students won state champion titles. 

Sophomore Luke Edwards won state champion in international public debate. Seniors Ashley Hines and Sarah Whitchurch won state champions in parliamentary debate. Senior Andrew Buckwinkler won state Champion in individual speaker awards for parliamentary debate.

“In teams sweeps, the debate team brought home the Richard Paine Debate sweeps trophy as the top debate team In the state. We placed 4th in overall team sweeps when considering both our debate and individual events entries,” according to a forensics news email. “The team also received the George Armstrong travelling sweepstakes award this year. The last time our program won this award was in 2006. It is given to the program with the highest cumulative sweepstakes points.” 

Hines has been doing debate for seven years and after a lot of hard work since many losses, she will be able to finish her last year on a forensics team on a strong note. 

This was Buckwinkler’s only second year competing. He fell in love with the activity last year while travelling with the team, Buckwinkler said. The most exciting part of winning a state title was being able to share the feeling with the entire team since everyone was successful. 

Hines recommends that anyone who is even a little interested or wants to learn how to communicate should join a forensics team. 

“If you care about social issues, you want to learn something, then it’s also a really great activity for that too, because everyone is coming in with their own knowledge and I learned something after every single round,” Hines said. “It’s really fulfilling, it’s endlessly rewarding. If you’re interested, you should take the leap of faith and do it.”

Buckwinkler encourages students to join the team to improve their college experience. 

“My advice is to put yourself out there. Not in terms of competition right away, but in the team,” Buckwinkler said via email. “We have possibly the most welcoming family on campus and in an activity that allows you to speak about anything you want, there is something for everyone. Being a part of NIU forensics changes your undergrad experience and introduces you to a network of individuals that always lift you up, and support you on and off campus.”

The debate this past weekend was a limited preparation event where teams are given a list of topics. After knocking off topics and there is only one left, teams are given 15 or 30 minutes to prepare and argue their cases, according to Hines.