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The Eastern Echo Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

An image of the 2024 EMU Forensics team lined up together for a picture outside on a sunny day.

EMU Forensics team takes third in national competition

This past April, Eastern Michigan University’s forensic team took home a win in the National Championship hosted by Central Michigan University, ranking third in the nation. This was the team's 51st year taking part in the competition, and they competed against hundreds of students from around the country.

The Forensics team described the term "forensics" as the quest for the truth through communication and performance. While the term “forensics” may prompt one to recall fingerprint analysis, blood testing, and true crime television shows, EMU’s forensics team is a competitive public speaking team, typically tackling the subjects of social justice movements and advocacy for current world events.

Rising senior AbdurRahman Elder composed several speeches, notably speaking about the deeper meaning of the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and an oration of the new world of AI technology and the dangers of using it. 

Students spent the semester preparing speeches and competing in various competitions. Forensics competitions typically contain three genres in which students can participate in: Interpretation, Public Address, and Limited Preparation.

Within these genres are many events that correspond to them in which students compete. Set up into rounds of six people, students presented their arguments and speeches while judges ranked each qualifying member’s oration, slowly eliminating competitors until they reached the final rounds. Speckled throughout the semester, these competitions eventually prepare the students to gear up for nationals and compete in the national circuit.

"It’s kind of like the make or break," Elder said, "It’s like the World Cup of Forensics." 

From April 13-17, Eastern Michigan University’s forensic team took their speeches to the National Forensics Tournament, finishing with 7 finalists and several semi- and quarter-finalists.

"We’ve maintained this spirit and tradition of excellence over the last 50 years," Elder said.

This article has been corrected to reflect the accurate placing of the Forensics team in their national competition, which an earlier version misstated.