Philosophy: Abilene Christian University enjoys a long and rich history of excellence in forensics. Long-term success is built on enduring principles, both at the team and individual level. Individually, a successful team member is one who sets high goals and, in the process of striving to reach those goals, discovers abilities, strengths, and limitations. As a team, success is measured in terms of group effort, camaraderie, and a positive reflection of the goals of ACU. Forensics, at its highest level, is an enjoyable process of intellectual growth and personal self-discovery.
As an organization, ACU Debate strives to represent the vision and mission of ACU well. We work to train debaters and speakers to take the skills of logic, reasoning, and public speaking with them into their future careers. We also work to instill a respect for truthful and honest research as well as a longing for excellence in civil discourse. Our choice to participate in IPDA debate reflects our goals to train excellent speakers who value reasoned thought and respectful argumentation.
Attitude: As defined above, success is an ongoing process. As such attitude, or outlook, is both a reflection and product of this success, and an essential ingredient in it. A successful attitude as a member of this team is based on responsibility and respect. Responsibility requires honesty and integrity in fulfilling promises to God, oneself, and to others. Respect necessitates treating others politely, kindly, and honestly.
Academics: Academics come first. Your studies should be your primary concern. However, we do not view academics and forensics in conflict with each other. Rather, they are complementary. Those who manage their time well will find they have time to succeed in both environments.
Other Extracurricular Activities: Members of the Debate and Forensics team are encouraged to be very mindful of their involvement in other University activities. Being an active and successful member of the team requires significant practice and travel. As such, membership in other activities may need to be limited. Members are often active in other clubs and organizations on campus but with the time commitment of debate, good time management will be very important.
Tournament Hosting: As a forensic team member, you are committed to several weekends out of the school year to assist with our ACU IPDA tournament and the Texas Christian Schools Literary Meet. These tournaments are a service to the public speaking community.
Meetings: We meet each week as a team at designated times. These meetings are essential for the coordination of such a large group. It is the only regular opportunity for everyone to get together as a team.
Travel Schedule: Plan on attending competitive tournaments that will challenge your skill as a public speaker. The number of tournaments attended per semester varies, but it is typical to expect 5 or more. The forensic program pays for all related costs, including meals, lodging, entry fees, and travel.
Travel Conduct: It is an honor to attend tournaments as representatives of the University. Tournament attendance is an officially excused class absence. As representatives of ACU, you are expected to behave as such. Students and sponsors are expected to avoid rude, illicit, or illegal behavior at tournaments and abide by the rules and policies of ACU.