Western Kentucky University prides itself in its longstanding traditions. One of the longest traditions is Forensics, which is a form of competitive speech and debate. The Forensics Team, formed in 1919, is the oldest and most successful student run organization on campus. The competitive atmosphere of Forensics gives students the opportunity to gain confidence and effective communication skills. With these skills in tow, they have won more national forensics titles in the last ten years than any other team in the United States.
In 2013-14, they won the “American Forensic Association” national title, “NFA debate” national title, and the “International Forensic Association” title all in the same year. Most recently, the Forensics Team won their final national tournament, the National Forensic Association National Speech and Debate Tournament, on April 16-20, 2015 at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Additionally, the WKU Forensics Team won its ninth AFA (American Forensics Association) National Individual Events Tournament, hosted by Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon on April 3-6, 2015.
Ms. Emma Collins, a forensic student and Corporate & Organizational Communication major, who recently competed at the National level, got involved with the Department of Communication when her Forensics’ coach encouraged her to read a communication textbook A first look at communication theory written by Em Griffin, 2011, which simultaneously helped her with impromptu speaking and sparked her love for Communication theories. Ms. Collins goes on to say Forensics teaches students to do research, write, and deliver vital messages. Additionally, students stay updated on current events; and they are constantly being exposed to a wide array of both fiction and non-fiction literature. One of Ms. Collins favorite Communication courses is Interpersonal Communication. She jokingly says this is her favorite because “being a part of a team of 45 you have to deal with a lot of interpersonal relationships.” Ms. Collins hopes for the Department of Communication is to get students and faculty to their yearly showcase: offer extra credit, tell students to attend in order to make it a memorable event.