Debate wins top ranking

Azi Carter, Staff Writer

The best of the best came to claim the title of number one in the Nation for British Parliamentary debating. Last weekend Stanford University hosted the US Universities Debating Championship (USUDC), the largest British Parliamentary debate tournament in the United States, and one of the largest debate tournaments in the world. The event is held for college and university students, and is hosted by a different university each year. The member schools of the US Universities Debate Association select the host. The event determines the National Debate Champions for the year.

Los Medanos College brought home the Top Ranking Community College title for 2018. Yale, Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Berkeley were just a few of the many schools that participated in this prestigious event that included over 700 participants.

With all of the elite schools present, the tension was noticeable on Saturday morning as debaters downed bagels and Starbucks coffee before the first motion was announced at 8:30 a.m. Their morning began around 7:00 a.m. with the tournament shuttles departing from the teams’ respective hotels enroute to the tournament.

Veteran debaters, Richard Stanfield paired with Dylan Lee, both took home the title for the Top Ranking Community College Team. This win ended the season and was the highlight of both Stanfield and Lee’s season because both are transferring. Stanfield is heading to San Francisco State University and Lee venturing on to San Diego State University.

The other team members included Gadai Bulgac and Felero Smith both veterans, Hailey Solares and Christopher Chu, first year debaters, Ayesha Khan and Tabitha Romero also first year debaters.

The coaching staff prepared the team for the grueling rounds and knew they were ready.

“Our team had been preparing diligently,” said Marie Arcidiacono. “Our coaching staff, myself, Star Steers and Edwin Haven were pleased with the team’s progress and we knew the teams were going to give it their all this weekend.”

According to Kahn, she felt empowered by the coach’s commitment and their willingness to go the extra mile, which allowed her to expand her horizon in representing LMC in a tournament with such high caliber schools.

Khan and her partner Romero were paired together for the first time and found a rhythm that worked well for them and felt their relationship strengthen as they competed in their rounds.

“This was a great learning experience. The environment was different with many different debating styles,” said Chu.

This was Chu’s fourth tournament, paired with Solares who was participating in her first national debate.

“Debating opens you up to what you don’t know,” said Solares.

The weekend was intense with eight preliminary rounds leaving the team exhausted, but exhilarated and anxiously looking forward to the next season. For students interested in debating, the next event will be held May 9 at Brentwood City Hall. This will be the last event until next semester and a great opportunity to meet and congratulate the debate team on their accomplishments at USUDC.