Fullerton College Hosts Second Annual Speech and Debate Hornet Invitational

Fullerton College Speech and Debate proudly hosted a tournament serving several California colleges and universities with more than 80 students participating on Friday, April 13.

Fullerton College continues to be one of a few full-service speech and debate programs in California offering students a variety of speech and debate events. This was also the first time Fullerton College hosted a tournament featuring individual speaking events, such as informative, persuasive, and impromptu speaking, along with two separate types of debate, public and policy debate.

The tournament was designed for beginning competitors. “Hosting a tournament for beginning speech and debate brings in eager students who get an opportunity to strengthen and develop their debate skills. Students who learn in the spring semester might not get adequate opportunities without this tournament”, said director Jeanette Rodriguez, “It was nice to host everyone.”

As a result, more than 30 rookie and novice Fullerton College Hornets competed at the tournament advancing to final rounds in nearly every speech and debate category.

Fullerton College competitors also walked away with several impressive victories in individual events and debate.

Patricia James and Dominic Craddock were crowned tournament champions in their respective individual events of performance of oral interpretation and impromptu speaking. Reflecting on her tournament victory, James stated, “When I first started in speech, I was like, this is just a class, but now I see myself growing as a person and winning. I went from not believing in myself to believing I can do this.”

James may have started competitive speech as a regular student in public speaking, but now she’s a real contender. Fellow teammates Anthony Cole and Bella Gomez finished 4th and 5th place in persuasive and informative speaking respectively.

The debate team of Raga Kavari & Justine Lim won gold in the rookie policy debate division with a final round. Finishing with silver medals were the debate teams of Madison DeVries & Trishia Lim, Chloe Bui & Kimmie Nguyen, and Cristal Covarrubias & Sama Nafea. Chloe Bui, an argumentation student trying debate for the first time, was also the 4th place speaker at the tournament.

In International Public Debate, Jeffrey Russell was undefeated through the debate tournament. Judges found Russell very persuasive and were continually impressed with his presentation skills and depth of political knowledge. Russell is a first-semester debater and the forensics team anticipates big results for him in the future.

“At the end of the tournament other schools were coming to me and thanking Fullerton College for hosting an inclusive tournament” Jeff Samano, one of the directors of the forensics team, state. “Many schools even said they would definitely be attending our tournament next year which is always great to hear.”

The Hornet Speech and Debate team plans to host again in 2020 and looks forward to the growth of the tournament. The team resumes competition again on April 27-28 at the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association Cool Off Invitational hosted by Cerritos College. The Fullerton College Speech and Debate team is coached by Jeanette Rodriguez, Toni Nielson, and Jeff Samano.

Author: Fullerton College

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