In a time when public arguments and debate can easily slip into harmful rhetoric or untruths, the lessons learned by students on the Forensics team seem particularly vital and relevant. “I really liked the culture and ideologies on this team,” enthuses SF State student Philip Enguancho. “Particularly the interest in social justice, and thinking critically about the world around us.”
“There has been no other activity outside or inside a classroom that has truly brought me to the person I am today, as well as teaching me how to stand up for myself and others. Forensics completely changed my worldview.”
- Virginia Kerr (B.A., 2019)
Forensics is a tremendously popular program, with the 45 available seats filling up quickly each semester. Teddy’s goal is to give each student the opportunity to compete in public meets, and while the University supports the Forensics program, students sometimes get left behind because travel funds are limited. “Donations we receive go to supporting tournament registration fees, transportation, food and lodging,” says Teddy.
The personal costs of traveling to tournaments also keeps some students away. “A lot of our students have food insecurity, including many that work,” says Communication Studies lecturer and Forensics head coach Pablo Ramirez. “Sometimes they can’t afford food and that will then cause some students to just simply not go.”
To Teddy, making Forensics available to students, training them, and enabling them to compete is a personal mission. His goal is to sustain the program so that it can touch more students in the same way it touched him: “This program transformed my life, I would not be the person that I am today had it not been for Forensics at SF State. This isn’t just a job for me, I think it is the most purposeful thing that one can do, which is to continue to carry on the legacy that has transformed me, and so many people I know and love.”