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About CSI Forensics

What is forensics?

Forensics, or the art of competitive speech and debate, has been practiced in the United States since the early 20th century and has roots going back more than 2500 years to ancient Greece. Forensics has evolved from a form of educating citizens in the art of persuasion as democracies were beginning to form in Greece and Rome, to a competitive activity that is enjoyed by thousands of high school and college students every year. The scope of training has also grown to include a variety of speaking techniques, oral interpretation, policy and value debate, as well as training in formal persuasion.

Why compete in forensics?

Participation in forensics allows you to put all realms of your education to active use. It sharpens your ability to critically analyze issues, to express your thoughts clearly and fluently, and to have a better understanding of the world in which you live. Many professional people, including executives, lawyers, teachers, public relations officers, radio and television personalities, and prominent public figures testify that their participation in forensics was a major element of their education. In short, forensics competition helps you learn to research, to think, and to communicate your ideas.

What is forensics like at CSI?

The College of Southern Idaho has a rich tradition in forensics dating back 50 years to the late 1960s. Those fifty years have been distinguished by more than 100's of regional awards and more than 50 trophies for competition at national tournaments. CSI travels to approximately seven tournaments per year throughout the Northwest and often attends the Phi Rho Pi and/or Pi Kappa Delta Regional and National Tournaments. In addition to competitive opportunities, students participating in forensics at CSI earn academic credit by registering for COMM 105 each semester.

CSI belongs to three major forensics organizations. The first, Phi Rho Pi , is a national association of up to 150 community colleges with active forensics programs. Each year, Phi Rho Pi hosts the largest national tournament in the nation, with more than 80 schools and 500 competitors in attendance on average.

The second organization , Pi Kappa Delta , is a national association of four-year colleges and universities that just recently accepted community colleges into its organization. CSI also actively participates in the National Public Debate Association.

CSI is also an active member of the Northwest Forensics Conference. This association of almost 40 colleges and universities from Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Alaska holds three regional tournaments each year and crowns a regional champion in both a university and a community college division.

Who can compete in forensics?

Competition in forensics is open to any CSI student enrolled in more than 9 credits and with a GPA above 2.5. The class, Communication 105, is worth 3 credits and may be repeated for four semesters. Experience is not required, but students who have shown extraordinary ability may be eligible for scholarship assistance for participation.