NU makes a strong showing at national speech tournaments

Nathalie Tadena

Northwestern’s speech team concluded its season with strong finishes in two national tournaments, with its second competition wrapping up Monday.

Two weeks ago at the American Forensic Association’s national tournament in Austin, Texas, Weinberg junior Rachel Vaughn placed seventh in the dramatic interpretation category and Medill sophomore Dillon White placed 13th in prose interpretation. The team competed against speakers from more than 90 colleges and universities.

From Friday to Monday, seven team members competed in the National Forensic Association’s national tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

“We have had the best year as a team in Northwestern’s history competitively, hands down,” said acting director of forensics Cori Ellis. “I am unbelievably proud of these students, they have shown remarkable strength under pressure.”

To qualify for national tournaments, competitors must place well at other competitions throughout the year. On April 12, the team held its annual showcase, with members performing their successful events at NU.

Vaughn said she joined NU’s speech team after competing in high school and finds that “it’s a great form of self expression.”

“Public speaking is not something I’m afraid of,” she said. “You’re able to choose performance literature that means a lot to you and write speeches on topics you care a lot about.”

This has been the team’s most successful year yet.

“We have the best team dynamic mainly because we all have the same mindset of success,” White said.

The team’s season runs from September to April, and members travel as often as once every two weeks to different competitions throughout the country. In order to maintain the high caliber of skill to compete, members practice extensively