Debate season ends on high note

Azi Carter, Staff Writer

The LMC debate season ended on a high note with a public debate hosted by Brentwood City Hall. The debate team left a lasting impression on the community of Brentwood. Over 150 concerned citizens, LMC students, faculty and staff filled the chambers of City Hall to witness the debate.

Prior to the topic being announced, debate coach Marie Arcidiacono began with an overview of British Parliamentary Style debate. The format has two teams of four competing against each other, with each team taking turns to make their argument and refute the opposition’s.

The hot topic of the evening was rezoning. The motion read, “This house would rezone land previously identified as open space for commercial and or residential use.”

The topic is not just a bone of contention in Brentwood. It has and continues to plague communities in neighboring cities for decades not to mention other states as well.

The debate began with Opening Government Kyle Marshal and Tabitha Romero, Opening Opposition Felero Smith and Nia Russell. Government Brian Kiar and Gadai Bulgac and Opposition Christopher Chu and Hailey Solares followed.

Learning to think critically is one of the major components in the debating, in addition to being vested in current events and challenges facing us locally and globally. The challenge in debating a topic is being able to posture on either side of the fence, never knowing whether you will be placed in a position to advocate for or against an issue. Having only minutes to prepare for a topic up for debate is when the reading and research pays off with huge dividends.

“This was a great opportunity for our students to showcase their talents,” said LMC President Bob Kratochvil, who was amazed at the large turnout having to stand on the sidelines because of the lack of seats. Kratochvil added he would like to see LMC participate in more public debates.

Many students present were those enrolled in speech classes and attending the debate was an extra credit project.

“I have never attended a debate and wanted to understand the process,” said Michele Zaldana who came with a fellow student Jonathan Mendez who admitted he came for the extra credit.

The LMC debate team stood up against the best in the country and returned home victorious, the only community college to match wits with the greatest minds, allows them to be ranked number one in their division.

The public Brentwood debate added another feather in the caps of the LMC Debate team, but the team was full of gratitude and enthusiasm because of the nurturing environment of the LMC community.

“We have the most committed coaches, who go the last mile for us,” said Ayesha Khan.

“Mrs. A is a powerhouse, she is the organizing force and an excellent role model for the debate team.”

Khan went into detail surrounding the high intellectual and behavioral standards that have been established for the team and how the arguments are dissected and gone over to make sure they are coherent, nuanced and pertinent to the topic at hand.

According to Kahn, coaches bring their own personal touch to assist the team. Professor Steers is great at reminding the team of the emotional connection they will be making for the judges. Steers’ expertise comes from her background as a speech professor so debaters can have the most impact.

Professor Haven, makes sure that arguments are logical and sound and offers input from different perspectives that one can look at an issue.

“We debaters are fortunate to have these amazing people as our coaches,” said Khan.

The debate team is losing several of its veteran members Kyle Marshal, transferring to Humboldt State University, Tabitha Romero on her way to UCLA and Christopher Chu to Humboldt State University.

There were no losers in the debate the audience reaction deemed the debate a tie.