GC Forensics returns following extended hiatus

Cale Strickland

After a years-long hiatus, GC’s speech and debate team, GC Forensics, is back.


In his first semester at GC, Dr. Nathan Bedsole, an assistant rhetoric professor, is the director of the team. So far, he loves Milledgeville.


“Our small class size, motivated students, and community focus make Georgia College a wonderful place to study and practice the enchanted art of oratory,” Bedsole said.


As the team’s director, he plans on expanding the group’s competitive and communal aspects to transform it into one of GC’s integral student organizations.


“I intend the team, moving forward, to engage in state-level, local, and campus-level controversies with public debates,” Bedsole said. “At the end of the day, our raison d’être is to celebrate and cultivate the student voice at Georgia College.”


Anna Lippy, a senior environmental science major, was on her high school’s debate team, but she did not have the best experience. Her time as a member of GC’s team has been the exact opposite.


“I was on my high school debate team for one year and didn’t like it, because we didn’t focus on learning how to debate, but rather how to talk quickly,” Lippy said. “In speech and debate, we learn strategies to break down prompts, how to form a strong argument, and how to articulate our thoughts.”


She believes speech and debate have allowed her to harness language’s full potential.


“It’s empowering to be a part of this club because I’m learning how to make my words as powerful as they can be,” Lippy said.


Sairsha Connor, a freshman mass communication major, is new to speech and debate. At first, the idea of being on the team intimidated her.


“I didn’t get involved in the team until later in the semester, around mid-September,” Connor said. “I had heard about the team prior, but I was honestly intimidated by it.”


Now, she wishes she joined sooner. Through her involvement with the team, she hopes to become a better speaker.


“I want to feel comfortable speaking to others or even speaking in front of large groups of people,” Connor said. “I feel that communication is a major skill necessary for any aspect of life, and I feel that I can achieve better interpersonal skills as a member of the team.”


In Lippy’s opinion, the team provides valuable knowledge the classroom does not.


“The skills and techniques we work on are so valuable,” Lippy said. “They’re not things I’d learn in my classes.”


Samuel Herrin, a senior economics major, aims to compete in the team’s debates. He urges his peers to join the team’s debate wing.


“Personally, I think we need more members interested in debate,” Herrin said. “Right now, the ‘debate-side’ of the club only has a few members compared to the ‘speech-side.’ Anyone interested in debate should get involved. You don’t need any experience to be a valuable member.”


Bedsole encourages interested students to attend the group’s events. The team holds meetings on Mondays at 5 p.m. in Terrell Hall Room 108.


“These events range from limited preparation, impromptu speaking, prepared rhetorical performances of original research, and prepared oral interpretations of poetry, drama, and prose,” Bedsole said. 


Debate and speech is open to students of all disciplines and skill levels, not just rhetoric majors.


“The team welcomes those of any and all levels of expertise — including none — and is great for any level of interest,” Bedsole said.