A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Forensics? Put Me in, Coach. I’m Ready to Debate!

By Jason Jacks on January 11, 2011

Mason's forensics team

I mean John Fogerty no disrespect with my corny rip off of his lyrics, but after talking with two members of Mason’s forensics team, I’m jazzed about forensics—especially the perennial winning program Mason is fielding year after year.

Here are some of the team’s mind-blowing highlights (not new news to you forensics aficionados):

Forensics, which pits competitors’ oratory skills, is Mason’s most successful team in history, ranking among the nation’s top 35 teams every year since 1975. It won the national forensics title in 1979, and has produced more than 35 individual national champions.

Since Peter Pober, a communications professor with an infectious love of forensics, arrived from the University of Texas at Austin as the team’s director in 2003, Mason forensics has ranked in the top 10 nationally each year. At the national tournament in 2010, the team finished fourth out of more than 100 teams that competed.

Currently, there are 33 students on the team. And as evidence of its national reputation for winning, about 75 percent of the members are residents of states other than Virginia.

Members of Mason's forensics team taking part in a recent tournament.

“It’s inspirational to see so many members put so much effort into the team,” says Quincey Smith, a student co-captain from Wyoming who is majoring in communication.

Fellow co-captain Nick Cox is from southern Virginia. The chance to play for a national powerhouse was what drew him north.

“[The team] is the reason I’m at Mason!” he says.

Sidenote: Cox sometimes rehearses his tournament speeches by reciting them in the shower. No wonder the team cleans up every year at nationals! I know…hardy, har, har, har.

Each summer, Mason hosts a summer forensics institute for high school students. Click here to learn more.

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