theatre seating

Forensics Team

“Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy.” – Jesse Jackson 

For forty years, the Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) forensics program has supported many successful speakers and future leaders. During the 2016-17 season, the MHCC forensics team solidified its place as one of the region's best forensics programs, earning numerous regional and national awards. 

The MHCC forensics team is the current Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC) community college divisional champion. The team has finished in the top five in all the major tournaments they have attended. They have finished in the top five for community colleges at the Pi Kappa Delta national competition and brought home five awards, including a National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) national championship at the 2017 Phi Rho Pi community college nationals in Washington D.C. 

What is Forensics? 

Forensics is a competitive Speech and Debate team that gives students the opportunity to use their speaking, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Students get a chance to travel to other colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest and across the country. Members expand their horizons, as well as earn college credits toward their degree. 

There are many types of events to choose from including platform speaking events, oral interpretation events and parliamentary and worlds style (BP) debate. 

Platform Speaking Events: 

  • Communication analysis. 
  • Impromptu. 
  • Extemporaneous. 
  • Persuasive. 
  • Informative. 
  • After dinner speaking/speech to entertain. 

Oral Interpretation Events: 

  • Dramatic interpretation. 
  • Poetry interpretation. 
  • Programmed oral interpretation (mixed genre). 
  • Prose interpretation. 
  • Duo interpretation. 

Debate Events: 

  • Parliamentary debate (NPDA). 
  • International public debate association (IPDA). 

Local Speaking Events 

The MHCC forensics program is committed to be very active on campus as well as in the community, by encouraging opportunities to engage in critical discourse and public speech. The team, in conjunction with the Phi Rho Pi Community College Forensics Honorary, sponsors a debate-only tournament through the Greater Portland Parliamentary League. They also participate in the MHCC Saints Invitational High School Tournament in February, and the MHCC Casual Fling College Invitational in May. On-campus activities include participation in the Political Science Forum Debate Series, a Reader's Theatre performance during the MHCC Women's History Celebration, and a Poetry Slam that is open to High School Poets, MHCC Students, and anyone else in the community. 

Why Should I Join the Forensics Team? 

MHCC forensics members are built into strong leaders by: 

  • Learning to speak on their feet. 
  • Perfecting public speaking skills through hours of practice and competition. 
  • Learning from observing some of the best speakers in the country and world in action during debates and competitions. 
  • Developing confidence by meeting performance goals and earning awards. 
  • Understanding the critical current issues of our day through multi-disciplinary examination and analysis. 
  • Learning how to persuade judges from diverse perspectives. 
  • Observing the intellectual trends popular in the world. 
  • Making lifelong friends on the team and from other schools. 
  • Becoming part of the ONE percent of college students who compete with peers from other schools. 
  • Gaining valuable experience for future careers in law, teaching, media, or organizational leadership and life-long communication skills.