Brooklyn College’s industrious speech and debate team have wrapped up another winning season highlighted by a trip to Budapest, Hungary in March to take part in the International Forensics Association tournament where they earned sixth place as a team while some members placed highly in various individual competitions.

It was a banner year for the dogged group, which was restarted by a handful of enterprising students just a few years ago without the help of a faculty advisor. The self-led students have had to coordinate all of the logistical and topical issues on their own—from securing passports for everyone and filling out the paperwork for competitions to bringing in professionals for some constructive criticism of their rehearsals.

Loraine Rosentsveyg, a third-year student majoring in health and nutrition, is president of the team. “I’m so proud that we’ve done so well without any assistance from a coach,” she says. “I was exceptionally happy that we did well in Budapest. It was the hardest competition I have ever been to.”

At the Hungary competition, Mubashir Billah and Yusuf Anwar earned second place honors in the parliamentary debate category.

Billah is a junior majoring in chemistry and also a member of the Coordinated B.A.-M.D. Program. He is a three-year member of the team who won first place in extemporaneous speaking and fourth place in impromptu speaking at the Collegiate Forensic Association MSU Tournament last fall in Maryland.

Anwar is a member of the B.A.-M.D. program as well as the Macaulay Honors College. Also a three-year member of the team, he majors in economics and placed second in the extemporaneous speaking category and third in the impromptu speaking category at the Maryland competition.

The team, which Rosentsveyg said has seven regular members, did well at another competition this past academic year in Montreal.

“Forensics has been one of the greatest experiences for me at Brooklyn College,” says Rosentsveyg. “It helped me grow as a speaker, a writer and a leader.”

She added that the competition in Budapest was the toughest she’d ever participated in but well worth the trip. “The last couple of days we got to go around a little bit,” she says. “We woke up in the mornings with a castle next to us, that was incredible.”