College Forensics FAQ

What does a season look like?

A forensics season in college extends from late August until mid-April. UW-Whitewater Forensics has a camp a few days before classes begin, where students get events prepared for the season. Competitions begin in late September. Unlike high school, the team competes one or two weekends per month (as opposed to every weekend).

Are there auditions?

Some college programs require auditions. Currently, Whitewater does not. What we do request is a meeting, either in person, or over the phone, with our Co-Directors. This serves as a way for us to get to know you, and find the best fit for you on the team.

Do I need a certain major?

No. Forensics is open to all students at UW-Whitewater regardless of major. We have had students major in computer science, sociology, political science, speech pathology, psychology, graphic design, communication, and accounting, just to name a few.

How do I join?

Contact either Brian Schanen (SchanenBH13@uww.edu) or Kevin Hill (HillKA28@uww.edu). To get started.

Can I meet the team?

Of course! The team welcomes visits to campus. Also feel free to come talk to us during tournaments. We visit of handful of high school tournaments in Wisconsin and Illinois over the course of the season, and we would love to meet you!

What events are there?

College forensics has 11 events: After Dinner Speaking, Critical Analysis, Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Informative, Persuasion, Poetry, Program Oral Interpretation, and Prose. Many events collapse into other events from high school. Team members often change events when coming to college.

What is the time commitment?

In non-competition weeks, members typically put in about 3-5 hours. It is what you make of it. Whitewater forensics prides itself on being “academics first.” In the fall of 2018 the team had a team GPA of 3.57.

Where do you compete?

Whitewater sits in the middle of an active college forensics circuit. A vast majority of our competitions are in the greater Chicago area. Most other competitions are in the Midwest including the greater Minneapolis area and Iowa. The team also travels nationally once to twice a season. In 2019 the NFA national tournament was held in Santa Ana, California, and 2020 will be held here at UW-Whitewater!

So how does the team do?

The high level of competition around Whitewater leads to a very successful program. In 2018, Whitewater placed 7th place at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals and 16th at NFA Nationals, the nation’s largest forensics tournament. Whitewater has placed numerous events into national out rounds each of the last three seasons and in four of the last five. Over the last 4 seasons, the team has sent eight events to national finals.

I’ve heard you do more than 1 event!?

On the college level students often have 2 or more events, but don’t panic. College events are split between two “flights,” morning and afternoon, so it is easier to carry more than 1 event. Students often find that taking on 3-4 events makes tournaments more fun. Whitewater Forensics requires students to have at least 2 events. The pre-season camp helps with piece development so that the 2 event mark is not so daunting.