The Los Medanos College Debate Team, fresh off an award-winning performance at the United States Universities National Debate Championship, is set to scrimmage against each other as they tackle the issue regarding mandatory vaccinations for children.
LMC debate head coach, Marie Arcidiacono, broke down what viewers could expect at the upcoming debate.
“The public debate comprises of eight debaters. There is a government bench, which consists of four people, and an opposition bench, which also consists of four people,” said Arcidiacono. “The government bench is in favor of the motion and the opposition bench is against it.”
She continued with, “Debaters are paired off in teams of two; the opening government, opening opposition, closing government, closing opposition.”
“Since only eight people can debate in the public debate other members of our squad will be participating in other ways at the event. Debaters in the public debate volunteered on a first-come, first-serve basis,” she said.
One member of the team, Yetunde Ogunleye, gave more detail on the how the debate works from the debater’s point of view.
“The stances are assigned to us, that’s very important to note. The positions we’re arguing for aren’t actually are personal beliefs,” she said. “We’re having a lot more practices, we type out our speeches and provide sources for or arguments. Our speeches are shortened from 7 min to 5 because we know the general public doesn’t have the patience or attention span for that.”
Since the debaters are assigned their stance, naturally you will have people debating for something they don’t agree with. That is the situation Ogunleye found herself in, stating, “Although I don’t feel strongly about the stance I was given, it still takes practice for me to be able to understand and articulate strong arguments on both sides of a spectrum. It teaches you to respect different viewpoints and it’s super educational.”
One member of the team, Richard Stanfield and his partner will be kicking off the debate arguing on the government bench stating that both he and his partner are “very excited and preparing for the debate.”
The debate will be this Friday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Pittsburg City Hall. It is free and open to the public.