|Speech team preserves successful reputation|
|Written by Shelley Singler, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 29 November 2010 19:33|
The ISU speech team, part of the ISU Forensics Union and one of the oldest RSOs on campus, has been upholding their reputation through a successful season and took home several awards during their most recent competition.
The speech team has won six national championships and is currently ranked in the top five for taking third at both the National Forensics Association and American Forensics Association competitions.
“We are usually in the top five, [but] more often than not we are in the top three,” Megan Koch, director of individual events and lecturer in the School of Communication, said.
The speech team consists of 40 members from various majors and five full-time coaches. Members of the team are free to choose which individual events they would like to compete in and focus on. Currently, 61 individual speeches are qualifiers for the NFA and AFA and there are currently 11 speech events.
“We have public speaking events which are informative, persuasion, [and] after dinner speaking. Then, we have interpretation of literature events, [which are] more performance [based], prose, drama, [and] poetry. We [also] have our limited preparation events which are impromptu speaking and extemporaneous speaking, which teaches speech, writing and performance on the fly,” Koch said.
The speech team is currently preparing for their competition “Hell Froze Over,” in which they will be going head-to-head against Bradley University. The team is also anticipating the National Forensics Association national tournament, which will be hosted this year by ISU from April 15 to 18.
“To get ready for nationals, some of us have specific goals, [and] new events that we want to put up. Others just have more personal goals of what they want to do with their own events. Basically, we just want to make sure everything is in the top shape that it can be,” Maureen Brothman, treasurer of the speech team and junior bilingual education major, said.
At the start of break on Nov. 20 and 21, six of the team members were sent to Bowling Green State University in Ohio and about 10 members were sent to the University of Wisconsin in Madison to compete in individual events.
At the beginning of the season, the team participated in the “Forensics 500” at Indianapolis placing third out of 12 schools, and at Tennessee State University in September the team placed third. The team also placed third at the Mid-American Forensics League competition.
According to Joe Cozza, president of the speech team and senior statistics major, the team recently took fifth place at L.E. Norton, a benchmark competition at Bradley.
To prepare for the competitions and nationals, team members practice in the speech team room in the basement of Fell Hall to receive support and critiques from coaches and peer led coaches.
“We are lucky to have a great coaching staff here. We have five full-time coaches that are incredible, but we think that what makes our team special is the peer led sessions, that as a group of students we can help each other in a different way than our coaches can. So my job is to motivate people and organize coaching nights,” Cozza said.