Debate team anticipates SF State linguist challenge

By Magali Mercado, Staff Writer

Students on the speech and debate team will be competing at San Francisco State University on Saturday.

A small group of students from Contra Costa College will be representing the speech and debate team against a number of other community college, as well as some four-year universities from across the state, including UC Berkeley.

Joseph Carver, director of the speech and debate team, is determined to see the team do well in the competition.

Carver said, “San Francisco State will be our opportunity to make a statement on who we will be this year, we want to get on the right foot.”

Carver said the speech and debate team currently has about four competitors, but the team has already grown.

“We’re now looking at a team of about nine people,” Carver said.

Competitors will be competing in a total of three categories: parliamentary style debate, a form of informative speech known as public address and oral interpretation of literature and poetry.

Rounds in the tournament will consist of five or six students competing against each other, with a judge or judges deciding how well they all did. Each speech ranges from eight to 12 minutes long, Carver said.

Lerecia Evans, a member of the speech and debate team competing on Saturday said, “My speeches are usually eight to 10 minutes long. You have to be cautious and not go over or too far under the given time, because you can lose points for that.”

Students can utilize the same speech, practicing and gaining strength for other competitions, or can take the opportunity to give numerous speeches over the course of the weekend.

Evans said she wants to do well in the tournament in order to represent CCC well.

“We really want to win for the school,” Evans said.

Wyllene Turner, another member of the speech and debate team, said that winning is not the only important aspect of the competition.

“If you’re just looking to win, you’re not really learning,” Turner said.

Evans said, “It’s good to win but I’m mainly looking for feed back in my speeches from the judges to improve our speeches because we want to go to state and national (tournaments) this year.”

Carver said that one of the major benefits of competitions is that students grow on a personal level from the experience.

“I think the training and preparation really help,” Carver said. “Students learn how to handle criticism and really benefit from the experience.

Carver said the speech and debate team is currently running drills, practicing their speeches as their teammates critique them in preparation for the tournament.

He said there are more competitions they will compete in this year, and the team is hopeful to go to the state and national speech and debate competitions in the spring.