Rhetorical Arts Festival

Rhetorical Arts Festival

Since 2015, the LMU Rhetorical Arts Festival has assembled first-year students to participate in and serve as an enthusiastic audience for a colloquium on timely social justice issues. As a friendly competition, first-year student speakers, working closely with their Rhetorical Arts instructors and elected by their peers to represent their individual classes, have delivered persuasive speeches to broad cross-sections of the student body, in hopes of offering cogent spoken word arguments that contribute to the campus’ dialogue with the larger world, as well as subscribe to the tenets of Jesuit rhetoric, or Eloquentia Perfecta: “the good person writing and speaking well for the common good.”

As a signature event of the University Core Curriculum, the Rhet Fest was designed by several Rhetorical Arts instructors to provide a forum to increase student engagement and high-impact learning, taking students beyond the comfort zones and familiarity of their classroom audiences and offering a more active, dynamic, and immediate rhetorical situation in which to speak on hot button topics with which they have gained knowledge and authority over the course of the term. Primarily student-supported—from the master of ceremonies, to the panels of student judges composed of former finalists and winners, to student-created promotional materials, to the student-edited videography—and with over fifty sections of Rhetorical Arts participating, Rhet Fest has strengthened the sense of community across campus and contributed to LMU’s commitment to civic engagement and hands-on learning.


Previous Rhet Fest Winners: 

2019: Saloni Kanani, Theater Arts, Psychology 

“Menstruation in India: A Human Rights Issue”

Rhet Fest 2019 Video


2018: Erin Purnell, Marketing major

"The Corporate Greed Behind Prescription Drug Price Increases"

Rhet Fest 2018 Video


2017: Ryan Hopkins, Film and Television Production major

"Voices Lost"

 Rhet Fest 2017 Video


2016: Danica Dickison, Animation major, Computer Science minor

"The Hunting Ground: The Reality about Sexual Assault on College Campuses"

 Rhet Fest 2016 Video


2015: Andrew Gonzalez, Political Science major, Economics and International Relations minor(s)

“The Centurial Act of Deceit: America’s Drug Scandal”

Rhet Fest 2015 Video


2018 RHET Fest Judges