Hundreds of high school forensics students heading to Ripon this weekend

More than 1,000 Wisconsin high school students and their families will be experiencing the Ripon College campus and the city of Ripon this week as they arrive for the Wisconsin Forensics Coaches Association (WFCA) State Tournament.

The College is the annual host for the tournament in which high school forensics teams compete for the title of State Champions. The months leading up to Saturday’s competition have involved a large amount of hard work and dedication necessary to make this tournament possible, says Brianne Giese, forensics coach and coordinator of this year’s state tournament.

She says planning for the following year’s tournament usually begins only a few days after the current tournament is over. Planning for the specific tournament events begins well in advance, venues need to be booked, and the proper people and organizations need to be notified.

Tournament events take place at four different locations in the community: the College, Ripon Middle School, Ripon High School and First Congregational Church. The distance between these locations requires a system of transportation and a means for forensics students to navigate around the Ripon College campus and in town.

The help of the students and faculty, especially those involved in the tournament, is integral to the success of the event. “Hosting this event literally takes a village,” Giese says. “From the forensics team and our students, to the plant department, Sodexo, housekeeping, the administration and everyone in between. This event simply can’t happen as smoothly as it does, or at all, without the Ripon community coming together as one.”

Giese says the tournament is a great opportunity for high school students to see all the opportunities that Ripon College and the Ripon community offer. High school students are able to network and get to know some of Ripon College’s student body, ask questions about their experiences and get a glimpse of College life.

“It’s never too early to start thinking about life after high school,” Giese says. “With more than 1,000 Wisconsin high school students on campus, they can see first-hand how Ripon can become an option in their college plans.”

Along with promoting the merits of higher education, the tournament also allows high school students a chance to explore the city. “We are so excited to welcome WFCA and its students,” Giese says. “In previous years, our guests have praised our community, campus and everyone they have come into contact with for their kindness and hospitality. We are flattered WFCA has asked us to continue to host their event and look forward to providing the hospitality their organization has come to expect.”

Student volunteers are needed to help with a variety of tasks on the day of the tournament, including directing students, monitoring buildings on campus, and generally assisting the tournament staff. Contact Giese at [email protected]

Andrea Schulner ’16
Caledonia, Wisconsin