Randolph Speech & Debate has a storied and successful history over the years. One of the first organizations established at RHS, our charter goes all the way back to 1963, only a month after Randolph High School opened for the first time. Our team has boasted numerous state champions, national tournament winners, and 29 years (25 consecutive) of qualification to the national tournament. This includes a national champion in Humorous Interpretation in 2005!
Speech & Debate gives Randolph High School students the opportunity to compete with other students from other schools in public speaking tournaments. Members learn the skills needed to become effective communicators. We participate in two very competitive local leagues that are in turn members of national organizations – the New Jersey Speech and Debate League and the Newark Diocese Catholic Forensics League. All students who achieve 25 merit points (about two to three tournaments) automatically become lifetime members of the National Forensics League, a national academic honor society. Students continue to earn merit points and degrees of merit throughout their careers.
Students have the option of competing in various events spread among speech and debate categories. These events include: Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Improvisational Acting, Impromptu Speaking, Original Oratory, Declamation, Informative Speaking, Oral Interpretation (Prose and Poetry Reading), Programmed Oral Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, and Duo Interpretation.
As a co-curricular activity, we actively contribute to and draw from the academic sphere at RHS, and we are one of the largest academic organizations in the school. Forensics as an activity fosters respectful competition, good work ethic, standards of ethics, leadership skills, and mastery of the communicative arts. It is an excellent activity for students of all abilities and interests, and the skills they develop are routinely among the most desired within higher education and the private sector. All students are welcome to join the team at any point in the school year, though our regular competition season begins in September and ends in March.