Compete with excellence in a historic tradition.
Our award-winning Marian University speech and debate team competes against students from schools across the country, traveling to a dozen tournaments each year. Forensic tournaments can be compared to track and field meets, with participants competing in a variety of events ranging from dramatic interpretation and slam poetry to impromptu speaking and parliamentary debate.
And, yes, you read that correctly. We wrote "forensic." Although commonly associated with tests and techniques to solve crime, the term was actually coined by Aristotle and means "belonging to, used in, or suitable to courts or to public discussion and debate."
"The speech and debate team at Marian has developed my public-speaking skills and has given me the confidence to use my voice and to advocate for others; however, the most important part of speech for me is the relationships. The team gathers an eclectic group of persons for the purpose of forming a team, and as we work, practice, and compete side-by-side, friendships form. We laugh together, learn from each other, and lean on one another."
*All facts are from the National Speech and Debate Association website.
Students who attend Marian University and compete on the speech and debate team are eligible for a talent award, typically worth $2,000 and renewable each year.
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We like to take home trophies, but we also want to support your academic success. That’s why the speech and debate team has a school-first philosophy. Additionally, you’ll have opportunities to receive credit for your participation on the team and/or take courses that overlap with the work you’re already doing for competition.Courses related to speech and debate:
* Speech and debate team participation counts as credit for these courses.
"From timing and pacing your articulated thoughts to learning how to get along with and support a diverse group of teammates, the communication skills I developed on the speech and debate team are transferable to any line of work. Maintaining relationships with company partners is a big part of my role at Canvas, and it’s important that I create a safe, trusting space for open collaboration and teamwork. In the workplace, I find myself channeling that same energy I did as a speaker and audience member on the team."
Drew Stewart, M.A.
Director of Forensics
"Coach Drew" has been involved with forensics since high school and has coached teams in Tennessee and Florida before coming to Marian University in 2017. While he enjoys coaching all individual speech events, Coach Drew specializes in extemporaneous speaking and parliamentary debate. In just two years, he led Marian debaters to two Top 10 finishes at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament.
Michael Baumann, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Forensics
"Professor B." has worked as a volunteer assistant with two other speech and debate programs before returning to his alma mater to coach and teach in 2018. He researches and teaches about professional and creative writing, new media, speech performance, and poetry, so it’s no wonder that his favorite events include interpretation, informative speaking, rhetorical criticism, and impromptu.
© 2021 Marian University
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.
Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.
Marian University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana.
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