Debate Team Finishes Third at NEDA National Tournament
Fullerton College debaters took home numerous awards during the 20th annual National Educational Debate Association (NEDA) National Championship Tournament on March 10 and 11 held at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana.
The topic for this year’s tournament was “The United States federal government should substantially reduce dependency on fossil fuels.” Participants competed in six preliminary rounds of competition during which they had to argue both for and against the topic, switching tactics and arguments from one round to the next. The top teams after the preliminary rounds then competed to determine tournament champions in each division.
Fullerton College debaters Alyssa Aguilar and Kitiny Phumchun held a 5-1 record and were the top seeded team in the tournament, acquiring more wins in preliminary debate rounds than any other team. Phumchun and Aguilar ended their successful performance in semi-finals. They lost a close 2-1 decision in semi-finals to a team headed by FC grad and former FC debater Zach Turner.
Phumchun and Aguilar were awarded the following: Third Place Debate Team Award in Open Policy Debate, Phumchun won an 8th Place Speaker Award while Aguilar won a 6th Place Speaker Award.
Kitiny Phumchun also received the NEDA All American Forensics Award. The award recognized her excellence in debating, leadership, and character. After reflecting on her competitive performance Kitiny Phumchun stated “I’ve never been more proud to be part of the team that made me into the debater I am today.” Phumchun started her debate career as a student in Argumentation (SPCH 135), a course designed to teach students the fundamentals of argumentation and debate.
After reflecting on her competitive performance Alyssa Aguilar stated, “Kitiny got the All American Award and no one deserved it as much as she did. So glad I did this and I could not have done this without Jeff Samano, Jeanette Rodriguez, and Doug Kresse.
Fullerton College alums Zach Turner and Joseph Phillips also had a successful performance at Nationals. Zach Turner and his partner finished as Second Place Team In Open Policy Debate. Joseph Phillips, who is currently a student and Director of Forensics at Cal Maritime, had a successful showing with his debaters finishing as First and Second Place Teams in the Novice Policy Debate division.