Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in forensics at George Fox University?

Any full-time George Fox undergraduate in good academic standing is eligible to participate. Because our team is focused on the educational experiences that we offer, students can determine their own goals as they improve their skills. The only initial requirement is interest and commitment. No previous experience is necessary. Of course, any previous high school or college experience in forensics will be beneficial, but you can also obtain training through communication classes like argumentation, and public speaking. 

How do I get involved?

Just feel free to drop in on any of our practice sessions. We meet most Wednesdays in Minthorn 200 from 6-9 p.m. You could also contact our Director of Forensics, Shannon Scott at sscott@georgefox.edu, or visit him in person during his office hours in Minthorn 203.

Which majors can participate in forensics?

Any! We have a wide range of majors represented on our squad. More to the point: We love having a mix of students, since it gives our group a broader base of knowledge. We benefit from a diversity of perspectives, and students of all career paths can benefit from improving their "soft skills."

"When you are seeking employment, your soft skills can be as important as the hard skills that are required to achieve success on the job." - The Balance, March 21, 2018

What are the benefits of forensics?

Forensics improves your ability to research and analyze problems, think and listen critically, express your thoughts clearly and fluently, and better understand public affairs. It increases your confidence and provides challenging intellectual stimulation. You will have opportunities to compete against some of the best students from other colleges and universities, to travel, and to develop friendships with other exceptional students at George Fox and across the nation. Many executives, lawyers, teachers, radio and television personalities, and prominent public figures testify to the benefits of their forensics participation. Many of them found lifelong friends through their involvement. They also gained valuable skills for their careers.

What areas are available for participation in forensics?

George Fox has a full selection of competitive forensics activities. Competition in novice or junior divisions can challenge the beginner. Senior-division competition can challenge even the brightest, best-prepared, most experienced competitor. George Fox competes in British Parliamentary Debate and AFA Individual Events.

In addition to competition, we also present events for the campus, including: current events debates, viewing parties for political debates during election season, and example performances of mock trials.

Where do George Fox University forensics participants travel?

Travel falls into three categories:

  • Local: The majority of the squad travels mainly in the Northwest, competing against Lewis and Clark College, Carroll College, University of Oregon, Pacific University, Willamette University, and others.
  • Educational/Professional: We are always on the lookout for new experiences. For example, each year, we take a team of students to compete in a tournament hosted by the Oregon State Penitentiary; we were invited to compete in a tournament hosted by NASA; and one of our teams made it into elimination rounds at a tournament hosted by the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.
  • Competitive: Our competitive core of students travels to the United States University Debating Championships, and we plan to begin attending the Worlds tournament in the next two years.

Is credit given for forensics?

Yes. By registering for forensics you can receive credit for your participation, depending on competition involvement. Once you have decided you would like to participate, students on the team are required to enroll in Comm 315: Forensics. The class can be taken for 0-3 credits, can be repeated, and counts as an upper-division Comm elective.

How much time will forensics take?

The time you invest in forensics depends on how much you want to do and at what level. If you want to do well in many events at a national level, you will have to spend a great deal of time. Team meetings, practice debates, and practice speeches are held weekly. This is time well spent as an intellectual experience that reinforces course work.

Many students have participated in forensics while maintaining their grades, and their social lives. For the student who wants to engage in a fun and intellectually challenging activity, the time commitment is completely worthwhile.

Are scholarships available for competition?

Scholarships are available for incoming traditional or transfer students. Students on scholarship are expected to become part of the competitive core of the team. The scholarship will renew each year as long as the student maintains good academic standing. Apply here; the deadline for applications is January 1st.

For more information, contact our Director of Forensics, Shannon Scott at sscott@georgefox.edu.