School of the Arts

Debate and Forensics team tackles new events

By Sara Curtis

Are you looking to improve you communication skills and join a club that accommodates your busy school schedule?  The IU South Bend Debate Club is for you! We are currently seeking new team members from all campus disciplines, backgrounds and ability levels.

Our club meets once a week on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. in the SAC. Other practices during the week are scheduled to accommodate class schedules. We are a traveling team; tournaments are held on weekends so they will not interfere with your class schedule. Contact Team Coach Sara Curtis, or Team Captain Cory Gilmartin, to join the team!

As the new debate and forensics team coach, I first want to say thank you to all of our supporters both within the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts and those from other departments across campus. Without their support we would not have been able to spread the word about this great student opportunity.

This past year has been a whirlwind of activity for us! We attended and competed in six debate tournaments, increased student membership, and said goodbye to senior Jake Jones. Members of the 2010-11 debate and forensics team were: Cory Gilmartin, Luis Hernandez, Josh Law, and Randal Birch. Our individual events team members were: Marlon Burnley and Jerry Sailor.

Our season highlights included earning a first place gavel at the Hiram College Debate, competing in individual debate for the first time with great success at Boling Green State University, and scoring a few personal bests for the team throughout the season.

We are expanding our club to include mock trial and individual events team members. Throughout the summer we actively recruited students from all departments for the debate and forensics team and the mock trial team.  Our goal is to have one student from each college on campus, which will provide an academically diverse group of students for future tournaments. Next year we plan to expand the range of competitive forums we attend; with the mock trial and individual events we are expecting a lively and busy tournament schedule.

Our next goal is to work with local high schools that have existing debate and forensics teams so that we can support and encourage those students. Not only do we want them to attend college here at IU South Bend, we are interested in coordinating a high school tournament in the following school year.
To learn more about debate/forensics and individual events, or mock trial please visit and or