The forensics team had a successful season despite the budget being cut in half this year. The reduced budget nearly prevented the team from attending their last major competition of the year and will cause the size of the team to shrink in the future.
“The money was cobbled together from a lot of people who knew that this was a big deal and that we needed to be able to go,” said Ann Lawson, Instructor of Communication Arts and Director of Forensics.
“Malone has attended the National Christian College Association Tournament every year since it was founded in 1998, so this would have been a terrible year to miss,” she said.
11 students participated in forensics this year, but only four attended the competition over spring break.
“It was definitely hard to hear at first,” said freshman intervention specialist education major Marisa Lolli about the budget being cut.
“We had been practicing together the whole season and when it was the just four of us, it was a whole different environment. It felt like people were missing,” Lolli said.
Not all the team members were able to participate over spring break.
“It was about who was most prepared and their level of commitment that they had to the team,” said senior psychology major and co-captain of forensics Amanda Maxwell. “There were people who were really committed and just weren’t able to go.”
The forensics team won 82 individual awards over the course of the year. Maxwell and senior intervention specialist education major, and co-captain of forensics Paige Nagy, brought home a 1 st place trophy in varsity Duo Interpretation over spring break.
“Our message was about mental illness and that’s something we both really care about,” Maxwell said. “At each one of the tournaments, we had people come up to us and tell us about how important the message was and how impacting it was for them to see us do it.”
Unfortunately, the students allowed to participate in forensics will decrease in the fall due to increasing budget cuts.
“Overall the entire university had to cut the budget,” Lawson said. “As part of the university, I want to participate in making the university as good as it can be and if that requires sacrifice, then we’ll make it. Malone looked at our records and it said that three people were taking the course but I had eleven
on the team, so when they looked at the budget, it looked like there were only three people for this amount of money and there were actually eleven.”
To participate on the team, students are required to register for the forensics course as a class. Lawson is optimistic despite the inevitable reduction of students.
“We just need to recognize that the team isn’t going to be as large and we won’t be going to as many tournaments, but we will work within the funds that we have and hopefully still be a good team,” Lawson said.
Students can choose forensics as a class in the fall, and Lolli encourages students to do so.
“It will not only be beneficial for you to be able to speak in public, but it also teaches character and gives you something to be passionate about,” said Lolli. “It allows you to use the gifts God has given you to give glory to Him which is the most important thing.”
Emily Cowen is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.