CSCC Implements Forensics Team

CSCC Forensics Team Advisor Laurie Rowland discusses parliamentary debate with members of her team.

CSCC Implements Forensics Team

Holly Vincent
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 2:14 PM
Students, Academics, All

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cleveland State Community College recently implemented a forensics team on its campus. This is the first year CSCC has had an active forensics team.
Forensics Team Advisor Laurie Rowland was involved in a debate team in college, so when she came to CSCC a little over two years ago, this was the first thing she knew she wanted to do. CSCC now offers parliamentary debate and broadcasting.
“I’m really excited about our team,” stated Rowland. “Our parliamentary debate style offers students the opportunity to hone their reasoning skills while at the same time allowing their personalities to shine through. The broadcasting is a new competition perfect for those interested in radio and television.”
Rowland continued, “I had participated in debate in college, and I think it’s valuable. You get the topic, and you have 15 minutes to come up with an eight minute speech or argument, and that’s the way it is with most things in life. You don’t get a lot of prep time to come up with your responses.”
“The Forensics Team has become the second student organization to begin participating in college competitions across the region,” stated Katie Willingham, Student Activities Coordinator. “Though they are young, they have gained vital experience by participating in two contests this fall and look to attend three more. This is a great opportunity to show students how we encourage academic competitions and how they can better prepare them for their future at four-year institutions and even into their career. Being involved in extracurricular activities can enhance their professional resumes and overall experience at CSCC. Laurie Rowland is an enthusiastic advisor for this group, and we are excited to help them reach their goals as a student organization.”
Forensics Team Member Jacob Harris, said, “I really enjoy being an orator, and I love arguing. That’s the real reason I wanted to be a part of this. I have participated in something similar through the Boy Scouts of America.”
New team member Alex Olive, said, “I had heard of debate teams before, and I had seen some footage of debate competitions. I’m excited to give it a shot. I like to challenge myself and debate with people in different settings, so that’s one reason I joined.”
According to Rowland, members of speech and debate score higher on graduate exams, perform better in their classes and are able to excel in job interviews. Rowland has seen much improvement over the past few months, and has “big plans” for her team. In addition to participating in regional tournaments, she would also like to host a tournament at CSCC, and would eventually like to see these students participate in a British Parliament tournament in Great Britain.
High school students who are interested in becoming involved in CSCC’s Forensics Team, contact Heather Brown, Coordinator of Recruitment and Enrollment Development, at

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