Speech and Debate Team Hosts Tourney

Isiah Reyes

Cowboy-themed line dancing and a Western-style skit performed before the Saturday night awards ceremony defined the second annual speech and debate tournament held at GCC on Feb. 20 and 21.

College teams from San Diego and as far as El Paso, Texas showed up to compete in Glendale’s “Golden Cowboy Swing” competitions which included informative speaking, prose, poetry, persuasion and impromptu.

Glendale was the host school for the first two days of the three day tournament. The third day of the tournament was held at Cal State L.A.

GCC students did not participate at the Glendale competitions. However, Sally Morgan, president of the GCC speech team, was a finalist for persuasive speaking at the Cal State L.A. competition held on Feb. 22.

Slideshow Media Credit: Richard Kontas

“Each school gets the chance to host their own tournament, and we thought it would be fun to make it a theme and have activities based on that theme,” Morgan said. “And because we are the Vaqueros, we just thought we should adopt a cowboy theme.

“So we started that last year and we plan on doing that every year so that people can really feel like its GCC and not just another regular speech tournament,” Morgan said.

Schools that do host the event do not go above and beyond to promote their theme as Glendale does, according to Morgan.
The first place winner for impromptu speaking was Mat Swanson from Cal State L.A. Second place went to Rebekah Bell, from Biola, and third to Maurice Cunningham from CSU Long Beach.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” Bell said. “[The Biola team] is very small but we have a good team and we’re doing very well.”

Three participants for the impromptu competition were from Cal State L.A., including Swanson, who said, “It’s very rare for a school to have three competitors [to break] in the same event.”

In addition, Swanson said, “Glendale is awesome for holding tournaments. I hope you all keep doing it.”

Janet Harbin, from California Baptist University in Riverside, participated in the oral interpretation competition. She distinguished the many types of competitions that are held during the tournament.

“I think a lot of people, when they think of speech and debate, they only think of the ‘great debaters,’ but it’s actually a lot more than that,” Harbin said. “They also have different things, like if you’re interested in drama or acting . or you can do monologues or duo’s with another person.”

The first place winner for the program oral interpretation competition was Andy Kwon with first place, followed by Jackie Mark in second place. Third place was awarded to Jorge de Leon and all three participants were from CSU Long Beach.

The top three rankings for the informative speaking competition were Michael Oliver, from Mt. San Antonio College, winning first place. Andy Kwon in second and Kristie Rohwedder, from Arizona State University, in third.

The basic requirements vary between the competitions. If the speech has a 10-minute requirement, such as persuasive speaking, then the student must use at least 10 sources and have the basic structure which includes an introduction, stating the problems, causes and solutions to the topic.

Participants can lose points if the topic has been done an excessive number of times or if the solutions to a problem are not realistically achievable. Also, speaker points are awarded for speaking style and voice clarity.

The next speech tournament held here will be in February 2011.

Morgan said, “I think it was an honor to be able to run a two-day tournament for other schools and have over 200 students here and still be able to go the next day [to Cal State L.A.] and perform and be able to reach the finals and win.”