Forensics Club Starts Off With a Bang


Pictured: Jasmine Cao and Taran Samarth, the co-presidents of the State High Forensics Team, introduce the club to new members.

Jenny Yu, Staff Writer

Last Thursday, September 14, State High’s Forensics Club kicked off with a handful of introductions, icebreaker activities, and food. Forensics, made up of teams for Mock Trial, Speech, and Debate, competes in tournaments across the northeastern U.S. teaching confidence, public speaking skills, diction, quick wit, and more. Comprising of events for speech, drama, and debate, and a separate Mock Trial tournament for those on the squad, there are a great deal of opportunities to all students.

After picking an event to compete in, students spend the following meetings preparing for the competition through learning skills in speaking drills, cross-examination questions, etc.. Tournaments occur several times a year, culminating in one final district tournament, in which one can qualify for the state tournament, the Pennsylvania High School Speech League, held on the weekend of March 15-16. Mock Trial members also have their own competition, participating in the Pennsylvania State Mock Trial Tournament sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

In the last several years, State High has performed particularly well at these tournaments. “Last year, State High was even the overall winner of one of the debate tournaments we attended, and additionally we regularly placed in the top three at tournaments all around the state,” Ms. Rand, one of the advisors of Forensics said. Even with the competition involved, the club is inclusive and welcoming to all members. “We are very interested in creating a supportive, educational environment where students feel encouraged to take risks. Although we are definitely a competitive club and we love winning, we love kids being brave even more,” Ms. Rand later went on to say.

“Mock Trial enriches not only my understanding of law, but public speaking skills and my ability to portray someone I am not. It’s a wonderful environment and team that anyone could join. You don’t necessarily need to have previous experience — all you need is a passion for law and arguing,” Clarissa Theiss, a member of Mock Trial stated.

Forensics welcomes new students to the club, and meets every Thursday after school in B116.