Sat. May 25th, 2024

The Forensics Team? Isn?t that those group of people we see on any given episode of “C.S.I., Crime Scene Investigation”? Actually, the team takes on a whole new meaning on our West Chester campus.The Forensics Team is a group of students who partake in various competitive speech and debate activities. Its goal is to promote communicative, creative and critical excellence through intercollegiate competitions.

The Forensics Team began at West Chester University in the late 1960s under the leadership of Dr. Miles Martell. Since then, the tradition of the Forensics Team has grown.

Part of the team?s purpose is to contribute to the development of effective leadership. Teaching ethical communication and how the spoken word affects others is a huge part of the Forensics Team. The Director of Forensics is Mark Hickman, who has been a part of West Chester University for six years. He has guided many students to national finals and national championships throughout his forensics-coaching career. He has also been inducted into the National Forensic Association Hall of Fame.

Under Hickman the Forensics Team has thrived. In 2001 the WCU team joined the American Forensic Association and now attends their national invitational tournament in even numbered years.

The Forensics team also houses the Pennsylvania Iota Chapter of the Pi Kappa Delta National Honorary Fraternity. This is a service fraternity that is made up of members of the Forensics Team. Pi Kappa Delta, which translates into “The Art of Persuasion, Beautiful and Just,” has a few requirements in order to become a member. You have to be a member of the Forensics Team, compete in at least three tournaments and pay the one time, and lifetime membership fee of $35.

On the Forensics team Web site, Pi Kappa Delta president Tim Russo says, “I?m looking to continue the proud tradition of the past president and to build on the foundation that was started with an emphasis on service and building alumni relationships.”

Throughout this past semester, the Forensics Team has been participating in many events and competitions and according to Hickman “[We are now participating in] the National Forensic Association Championship Tournament at Akron University.” This tournament runs April 14-18. The typical travel schedule of the Forensics team includes trips all over the Northeast, including as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Virginia. Trips to Canada and Ohio are also often incorporated avels as well.

According to their Web site, the Forensics Team and program is “committed to promoting critical assessment of the public communication.” The Forensics Team feels that by doing this they are contributing to the development of effective citizenship.

The team is always looking for new members who are interested in competitive speech and debate. If you are interested, you can visit the Web site at or contact Hickman at You can also visit Hickman at the Forensics Office located in the basement of Main Hall, room 016.

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