Speak your mind, debating matters

The Debate Club discusses relevant topics and lets the audience decide who won the argument - Courtesy of WCC Debate Club
The Debate Club discusses relevant topics and lets the audience decide who won the argument – Courtesy of WCC Debate Club

Every year, WCC’s Debate Club hosts and participates in numerous speech and debate activities around the island.

Each event gives club members the opportunity to share in the joy of victory or the disappointment of a loss, as well as the benefit of learning something new.

Debate Club coach and speech instructor Audrey Badua wants students to know that debate isn’t about who is the better arguer, but rather who can add to the discussion.

“I want you to be your best critic, not your worst,” said Badua. “I want you to be able to play devil’s advocate with your own beliefs and see how and why you would reinforce those beliefs … or change them.”

Badua’s approach to speech and debate is similar to that of American slam poet Taylor Mali’s presentations: “It is not enough these days to question authority, you gotta speak with it too.”

The Debate Club has been busy this year, hosting its annual workshop on Sept. 10 with three programs: “The More PIE, the Better the SHITS – and Don’t Forget the CRAAP” presented by WCC English instructor Annette Priesman, “Rebuttals: A Crash Course in Always Being Right” by LCC’s Chris Gilbert, and “A Moot Panel Group Discussion” by UH Mānoa’s Daniel Hugo. The workshops were activity-based and included a meet and greet.

The club will have a debate tournament on Oct. 10. In the past, students from WCC, HCC, LCC, UH Mānoa, Hawai‘i Pacific University and Waipahu High School participated in topics such as whether Simba is fit to lead or if the penny should be abolished.

“The goal of every tournament is to not only learn and have fun, but to have the students wanting more,” said Badua. “This year we’d like to expand on what we already have. In addition to having a debate tournament, we’d like to give the students the whole ‘Speech Experience.’”

WCC speech lecturer Linda Shkreli will offer students an opportunity to express themselves in a non-competitive participation based event in conjunction with the debate tournament. EthoS (Experiences in Speech) will include four presentation categories: Impromptu Speeches, Performance Poetry, Dramatic Monologues and Prose, and Dramatic Scenes.

For more information about the speech events or to participate, email Audrey Badua at amendoza@hawaii.edu or Linda Shkreli at lshkreli@hawaii.edu.

by Ka ‘Ohana, News Staff