SIS competes in virtual forensics tournament


Erin Choi, Reporter

On Jan. 15-16, the SIS Forensics team participated in the January KAIAC Speech and Debate tournament. A total of 10 international schools competed, and SIS finished second overall in the tournament and for the conference as well. 

The students in speech competed on the first day, while the second day held debate rounds. By hosting the tournament for two days, students could participate in both events without a schedule conflict. 

The debate tournament format consisted of four rounds prior to a final round, while the speech team had three preliminary rounds leading to the final round. A total of 11 students in speech and six students in debate from SIS were able to place and receive awards by the end of the tournament. 

“I am super proud of all our students,” Michelle Ganus, SIS Forensics Head-Coordinator, said. “They have all worked very hard and challenged themselves every tournament to do better. Although we tend to come in second to KIS quite often and students are sometimes disappointed or discouraged, I think that we tend to forget that we are still doing a tremendous job. Students are striving and improving each time. Our students are placing individually and receiving a number of awards. The other coaches and I are so very proud of them.”

The Forensics team started preparing for this tournament since last November. Although the last eight Forensics tournaments have been virtual, they were all satellite tournaments, meaning that students could gather in their respective school campuses and compete online. However, this recent KAIAC tournament was the first fully virtual tournament this season in which students had to participate in their individual homes.  

Many students, especially those who were in events that had partners or groups, such as those in parliamentary and Public Forum debate, found the virtual environment to be a great challenge. Whereas satellite tournaments allowed students to be with their team members in person and easily work with one another, having the KAIAC tournament be fully online made it inconvenient for students to cooperate and communicate with their team members efficiently. 

“At first, I did not think that my team was going to make and win the final round, especially because the virtual tournament made it hard for me to get the intended messages across to my partner,” Samuel Hong (11), 1st place winner of Public Forum, said. “My partner and I were also unlucky because we had to go against three KIS teams. KIS is definitely really good and I respect their teams, but we had the upper hand this time, and I was glad that we were able to beat them all three times. I am proud that the results came out as they did, and I think they really reflect our hard work.”