During the weekend of Nov. 16th, 2018, the CSUSB Forensics team took on San Diego as they competed in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (Ameri Parli) and Individual events.
Returning members Tejwant Brar, Teresa Salas, and Jon Anderson, lead the team towards victory.
This two-day event included 12 hour days dedicated to competing in events such as: After Dinner, Impromptu, Monologue, and Dramatic Interpretation speeches. While at the same time, one of two teams competed in the American Parliamentary Debate. Day one of the competition began at 8 a.m., and presumably lasted until 8 p.m. There were several rounds in each category (After Dinner, Impromptu, Monologue, and Dramatic Interpretation speeches); eventually the rounds narrowed down until there was a winner. On day two of the competition, the Ameri Parli debate teams went face to face, until a winner was announced.
Ameri Parli Debate Association was founded in 1981 and adapted at CSUSB about fifteen years ago. Coached by Professor Amy Wassing, the Forensics team is also associated with the a CSUSB upper level communication studies practicum.
According to the CSUSB Forensics page, the debate team “focuses on real-world argumentation using the format of American Parliamentary Debate with topic areas coming from current events, national and international issues of a political, social or ideological nature.”
The debate team has been preparing for this tournament since the beginning of the fall quarter. Preparations include various in depth exercises like dissecting international policy making. However, the team is not all business, Coach Wassing focused on making learning fun for new members. Wassing introduced a multitude of learning activities such as weekly tongue twisters, impromptu public speaking, oral interpretation, focused on getting students out of their comfort zone and into debate mode.
Wassing has been coaching the team for over three years. She has traveled to countless cities across the west coast including: Longview, Wash., San Jose, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah. With extensive knowledge in Communication Studies, Wassing consistently encourages other staff members to get involved by supporting the forensics team.
“Having a Forensics team is important because it provides a hands-on experience that students cannot achieve through a regular seminar course,” Wassing said, “I absolutely love that it encompasses all majors on campus (anyone can join), which provides many different perspectives for the team.”
When asked about why having a Forensics team is beneficial to students, Wassing shared, “It gives students a platform to learn to use their voice and discover new talents they didn’t know they had. The team experience helps students step outside of their everyday norms and venture into new territory to meet people (networking), see sights they may have never seen and to grow as members of society.”
She believes that the Forensics team can better prepare students for their future careers.
“The team also provides a support group with many members maintaining friendships beyond graduation. Studies show that when students get involved in activities, clubs, and events offered on campus, they are more successful. The team members function like a family, supporting each other during tournaments, practices and outside of their time. Together as a team,” Wassing said.
However, securing funding to the Ameri Parli Debate has been difficult. While preparing for the November event, issues arose; the team faced cuts to fund for supplies and team sponsorship. Nevertheless, despite opposition, Wassing was able to demonstrate and use her persuasive debate skills to attain complete funding for the event.