A message from a concerned forensics student

When asked what their favorite convocations of the year are, most students would say either the Academy Award Shorts or the Forensics Road Show. Sadly, both of these loved convocations are absent from the schedule this spring.While I adore the Academy Award Shorts, I have more to say about the disappearance of the Forensics Road Show.I, as it may be known, am a proud member of Bethel College’s forensics squad. This is my fourth and final year competing for Bethel. This would have been my third year performing in convocation.However, my awe-struck horror when discovering that the forensics convocation had been axed from the schedule had nothing to do with the fact that I would not be able to present one of my events during convocation – it has to do with the lack of interaction between the Bethel forensics team and the community.Community is something that the Bethel culture likes to promote and even boast about. Oh, we’re such a close-knit community of students, faculty and staff! Yeah… except that one of the most successful teams Bethel has is being left out of this community.Perhaps some of you know that we host a forensics tournament every year at Bethel. Despite this, no one comes to watch us compete against other teams. Some community members are kind enough to come and judge for us year after year, but Bethel community judges tend to not judge Bethel forensics competitors because of perceived bias. Fear not, we do never expect the community to come watch us during tournaments, which is why we have Forensics Road Show convocation! But wait! There is no road show this year. I discussed some of my concerns with a few of the convocation committee members, they communicated to me that the reason the road show had been removed from the schedule was because the content of the forensics performances was deemed inappropriate for the convocation audience. While I can understand why Bethel might not want the forensics team to perform controversial pieces in front of, let’s say, prospective students and their parents (which is what happened last year), I don’t understand why it has to be completely left off of the schedule.The forensics team works hard all year round and competes with universities from around the country. We deserve some time to perform for our precious community.One argument I heard in favor of demolishing the road show was that we would have the same amount of recognition as the sports teams do in convocation (which means we get to have a slide in the opening power point revealing our tournament results, just like the sports teams get to have their scores projected at the beginning of convocation). That seems fair, right? Except for the fact that there are usually multiple sporting events every week during which the community can show up and support whichever Bethel team is competing. The community cannot travel with the forensics team when we go to tournaments in Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, and Nebraska. It just is not feasible.Hence the reason we have the Forensics Road Show convocation. Without this convocation the community would not even know what forensics entails. And if you don’t know and you happen to be reading this editorial, forensics competition has nothing to do with cutting up dead people or crime scene investigating. I would like to publicly propose that the forensics convocation been reinstated to the spring schedule. If the convocation committee is worried about the content of the forensics events then they could just ask the forensics squad what events they would be performing and ask the forensics team not to perform certain pieces if the convocation committee deems them inappropriate. Also, it could be schedule on a day when there are not any prospective students visiting campus.Every year the Bethel College Forensics team has qualified individuals to the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament since they were inducted to the AFA in the 1970s. This year is no different. Allow the hard working individuals of our forensics team to be a part of this community. Reinstate the Forensics Road Show convocation.