Forensics gains experience at tournaments

Kaitlin Clark, Entertainment Editor

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It proved to be a busy week for Manhattan High’s forensics team as students competed in the National Qualifiers for Congress event as well as the Emporia Forensics Tournament. There were no overall national qualifications at the Congress tournament, but several students made it to the Super Session round, which is the equivalent of finals.

“We put a lot of work into making the bills, and my favorite part was using the hard work that we did and incorporating the hard work that we did into like speeches and that allowed us to do better,” sophomore Megan Keenan said.

All students involved with the National Qualifiers team had to review a series of bills and do extensive research on each of them in preparation for the tournament, where they would give speeches on whether or not the bill should be passed. Following speeches, students voted with placards, and the final vote decided the fate of the bill.

“We’re basically acting like members of congress and we’re voting and discussing bills that could be implemented in like, the actual country,” Keenan said.

This event was organized differently than a typical tournament as there were two rounds of Congress on Friday and the final Super Session round on Saturday, meaning that several Manhattan High students had to attend both days. Regardless of the time commitment and workload, these students felt that it was worth it.

“Each congress bill was about 10 to 15 pages, and we all had to like, write it up ourselves, so it’s a lot of work, but in my opinion it usually pays off,” Keenan said.

Although a great deal of work was put in at the tournament, students did, as usual, enjoy their experience.

“It’s fun to see people from other schools and create relationships with people that you wouldn’t normally see,” sophomore Alison Payne said.

Meanwhile, other students were taking part in the Emporia Forensics Tournament, competing in a variety of speaking and acting events.

“My favorite part is definitely the judges watching them truly be interested in whatever I’m doing,” freshman KayJay Jones said, “and that makes it worth doing.”

While it’s often difficult for competitors in any sort of event to overcome their fears, forensics team members have to push aside their doubt to compete each weekend.

“It’s not for anyone who has stage fright, but it’s definitely fun to try and I enjoy doing it every weekend I go out,” Jones said.

Although there may not have been any major wins for the forensics team this week, the experience members gained at both of this weekend/s tournaments will help them in their future competitions.

“I feel like I’m improving a lot this year compared to last year,” Keenan said, “and hopefully my success follows me throughout the rest of high school.”

The next forensics tournament will take place on Friday and Saturday with a home tournament the following weekend.

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