Debate team gets ready for a new season

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It’s a new season for Los Medanos College’s Debate Society. With a new season come new faces, excitement and challenges. Debate team adviser Marie Arcidiacono said one of the main goals for the team this season is to continue making a name for their selves as a nationally competitive community college program.

“We’re the reigning community college champions for the U.S. Universities Debate Association,” said Arcidiacono. “We also hope to continue to demonstrate to people that debate is strong in East County.”

The team competes in British Parliamentary Worlds Debate—students get debate topics 15 minutes before and are only able to use their partner, their own pre-existing knowledge and printed materials to form arguments.

“I am most looking forward to our Public Debate at City Hall,” Arcidiacono continued, “The Public Debate is one of my favorite events because it gives our students a chance to showcase their skills to the greater community.”

The teams’ adviser also mentioned a new addition to the coaching staff. LMC adjunct speech instructor Star Steers is coming on as the new assistant coach and is ready to bring her past experience to help out this season.

Steers coached speech on the high school level and said she can help students brainstorm different approaches for their debates.

“Really, the students are so wonderful— they do all the work. I’m pretty much there to be a sounding board and gentle guide as needed­.”

Steers said the students and the team’s reputation reeled her in.

“I have heard so many amazing things about the LMC debate team and I have consistently been impressed when I attended the public debates,” Steers said. “It’s a privilege to work with dedicated students who are doing such great work for our school and building this program.”

Debate Society President Genaro Mauricio wants to continue to work hard and, like Arcidiacono, make a name for LMC as a competitive community college program.

This is Mauricio’s third semester on the team and he expressed his excitement for what the season holds.

“As a leader this year, it’s my responsibility to make sure that [the team] can approach me with questions so that we can all continue to better ourselves as debaters,” said Mauricio. “Approaching the season, we’ll be setting up extra practices to ensure that everyone has the resources they need.”

According to Arcidiacono, there are no official tryouts and anyone can join the team. If students would like to join and learn more about debating they can register for SPCH- 160.

“Debate provides students with unique opportunities to network with 4-year universities, which could be advantageous to those interested in transferring,” Arcidiacono said, explaining that debate is a great way to explore different points of view in a safe environment.

“You’ll learn more about what’s happening in the world around us that you’d ever thought possible and have fun while doing it,” added Mauricio.

For more information about the debate team, students can email Arcidiacono at marcidiacono@losmedanos.edu.

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