Speech FAQs

Question (Q): What if I don't have any experience in speech and debate, can I still join?

Answer (A): Yes. The students that compete, and have competed in the past, for this team come from diverse backgrounds. While a portion of students have some experience with forensics specifically, some do not. However, these students worked in public relations, marketing, model United Nations and other fields or organizations that build skills that are necessary to posses and improve upon within forensics. Speech and debate experience is not a strict prerequisite to competing for our team.


Q: Is it possible to be on the Pacific Speech & Debate Team while also pursuing other extracurricular activities (clubs, organizations, sports and etc.)?

A: Yes. As most of our current students will suggest, participating in your interests at Pacific means exploring all attractions. Every year, we have a numerous amount of individuals participating in other extracurricular activities on campus–such as cross country, track, football, political organizations, Na Haumana O Hawaii (Hawaii Club), orchestra, band, PacificSlam (Slam Poetry Club) and etc.). Our team prides itself on encouraging self-development and growth as an ultimate goal in which forensics assists as a method to do so, but also requires exploration of other interests.


Q: I've only competed in individual events (or debate events), can I try new categories and events while at Pacific?

A: Yes. We have specific requirements for both scholarship and grant recipients, in terms of commitment in the number of events to compete in for a given year and class standing. However, we do not require experience in a given category or event as a prerequisite for competing in that respective event. Any student competitor on our team may try new individual or debate events. This concept goes back to our feeling on participating in other extracurricular activities. We allow our students to make informed decisions on what is best for them in order to develop and grow.


Q: As a competitor, is it easy to attend tournaments, compete and qualify for national-circuit competitions?

A: No! Pacific's Speech & Debate Team prides itself, and is regionally known, for being extremely hard-working, professional and humble. In order to attend tournaments, students must demonstrate the necessary competitive competence levels to both the Director and Assistant Director of the team. Students that are not prepared, or competitively competent, are not guaranteed competition spots at forensics tournaments. As a result, in order to qualify for national-circuit tournaments, which include our travels to the George Mason & James Madison Swing Tournament, the International Forensics Association tournament (which was in Budapest, Hungary last year and is in Rome, Italy this year) and American or National Forensics Association National Championships, significant commitment and dedication must occur. As with most competitive forensics programs, we have a scarcity of resources and increasing demands. Students that compete on our team are aware of the dedication required to make the most of the amazing opportunities provided for them.


Q: I am an alumni of the Pacific Speech & Debate program, can I get involved with the current team?

A: Yes. There are multiple methods in which alumni can participate in enhancing and development of the program. The most direct way to influence our program initiatives (tournament fees, transportation costs, student betterment, etc.) is to make a gift to the Friends of Speech Fund or Pacific University Forensics Team through the development and giving office at Pacific University, on their website. Also, you may assist the program by getting involved with the Friends of Speech group. This is an alumni group that meets to work on development, physical volunteering at hosted tournaments, volunteer judging, etc. If you would like to get involved through this way, check out their page or email Dan Broyles or David Maile.