Fullerton College Takes Top Awards at Novice Individual Events National Tournament

Last weekend, students Britton Lee, Akayla Cadena, and Maceo Coleman traveled to the Novice National Championship Tournament in Boston hosted by Suffolk University and flew home with two national championship victories! These successful Hornets showed the country Fullerton College is a place where the next generation of passionate, crafted ideas are delivered.

Britton Lee, a communication studies major, is the national champion in persuasive speaking. Lee’s speech advocated for the nationwide criminalization of stealthing, an act of sexual assault where two people agree to have consensual protected sex, yet one partner deliberately removes a condom without their partner’s consent. The idea of Lee’s speech is for all people to think of consent as conditional consent requiring the affirmation of their partner for every new sexual act in every sexual encounter.

To craft her powerful speech against sexual assault, Lee visited with local representatives, researched for dozens of hours, competed at 10 tournaments this school year, and transformed into a real advocate for safer sex. To win a championship, Lee defeated speakers from the University of Indianapolis, Minnesota State University, and several other colleges and universities.

“I went in not knowing if I was going to win,” said Lee, “I was nervous given the pressure to compete, however, I was excited because I really enjoyed my speech.”

Akayla Cadena, a first-year communication studies major, is a national champion in program of oral interpretation. Cadena’s performance centered on condemning a culture of fat shaming and the sexual objectification of women, while also advocating for a society that embraces bodily acceptance.

Cadena joined the speech team to build public speaking skills and access opportunities like travel and competition. Although she works 30 hours a week in addition to her class load, Cadena joined the Fullerton College Speech and Debate because it was an important part of her life in high school.

Maceo Coleman, a first-year student communication studies major, finished fifth place overall and second place among community college student competitors in rhetorical analysis. Coleman’s performance centered on analyzing the Academy award-winning film Get Out and Frank Wilderson’s theory of Afro-pessimism.

Rhetorical analysis is renowned in the speech community for being a difficult event and many schools prohibit first-year competitors from attempting the event.

“My heart was beating so fast in the final round,” Coleman said. “However, I believe it was my best performance, just competing in the final round felt great it was a wonderful experience.”

Lee, Cadena, and Coleman will all be performing at the Forensics Showcase on April 11 from 4-6 p.m. in Room 229. This free event is hosted by the Speech and Debate Team and open to all students, instructors, and administration of Fullerton College.

The team resumes competition again on April 7 at the Hornet Invitational, a tournament held at Fullerton College that allows rookie and novice competitors a chance to compete. Students interested in joining the team may contact a coach to get started. There is still regional competition in April and May available for new members. The Fullerton College Speech and Debate team is coached by Jeff Samano, Toni Nielson, and Jeanette Rodriguez.

Author: Fullerton College

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