Judges Sought for Gorlok Gala Debate Tournament Jan. 23-25, No Prior Experience Needed

| December 12, 2014
More than 400 attendees participated in the Gorlok Gala Debate Tournament. Photo by Natasha Sykes.

An estimated 450 people attended last year’s Gorlok Gala Debate Tournament.

The Webster University Forensic and Debate program is preparing for the 17th Annual Gorlok Gala Forensic and Debate Tournament, to be held the weekend of Jan. 23-25, 2015. This event–one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious invitational tournaments of the season–brings to Webster students from across the nation to compete.

This year, over 40 schools from 16 or more states are expected to compete in the event, bringing in upwards of 400 students and coaches/educators to campus. Nearly every open space on campus is used for the Friday and Saturday of this event.

Seeking Tournament Judges – No Prior Experience Required

One of the most challenging aspects of hosting an event of this size is securing guest critics for the many public speaking, literary performance, and debate events. As part of its planning, the team is seeking individuals who may be interested in serving as guest critics.

Judging requires no prior experience, and no qualifications other than an ability and willingness to evaluate argument and performance in an objective manner. In fact, several of the events offered deliberately seek individuals without forensic and debate background. Any senior, graduate student, faculty or staff member is qualified to be a critic. Scott Jensen, director of Forensics and tournament director, encourages potential judges to not sell their potential contributions short.

“With a tournament this size, we are extremely dependent upon our community for filling our judging needs,” said Jensen. “While some people often feel as if they are not qualified, we actually consider intelligent individuals who can evaluate ideas and performances with objectivity our best critics. Having too many judges with forensic background creates an insular experience that is not as educational for the competitors. This tournament continues to be successful because of the support we receive from our community and alumni as guest critics.”

Training materials are provided, and individual training sessions can be arranged upon request. Compensation is available for judging. Interested individuals should contact Jensen at jensensc@webster.edu for more information.

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