Debate team prepares for upcoming tournaments

Hillary Hetrick, @hillarymhetrick

The LMC Debate team has been keeping itself busy, both in the Fall 2018 semester, and during Winter break. On Dec. 5 they hosted an all-LMC team event. Their topic was, “Does social media damage our ability to have meaningful relationships?”
The Debate team had both affirmative and opposing sides to the topic. Veteran debater Felero Smith and his debate partner took the affirmative side.

He stated “My team and I were in affirmation that social media does hurt meaningful relationships.”
LMC Debate Society President Hailey Solares gave the opposition’s rebuttal. They argued that social media is a place of connectivity.

The opposition believes that social media can help those who are far from their partners or loved ones to stay connected. Lastly, it can be an outlet for people to express emotions. This can also come in handy for those who have social anxiety.

Solares explained the opposition’s claim, “Social media has its harms, but in the age of an ever-increasing globalized world, it serves as an outlet to connect with those all over the globe, something that bridges gaps between cultures, viewpoints and identity.”
Solares noted that the team is objective in its debates and “personal beliefs are not intertwined or expressed during a debate.”

During winter break, the Debate team warmed up with a tournament on Jan. 26 and 27.

“We competed at a tournament at U.C. Berkeley before school started…which was awesome,” said debate coach Marie Arcidiacano-Kauffman.
The Debate Team, founded in Spring 2011, has been successful in prior debate tournaments. But this semester, the team is rebuilding.

“We are in a rebuilding year since we had a significant number of team members graduate in May 2018,” said Arcidiacono-Kaufman.

Although she was sad to lose valued members, she is hopeful for her students’ future.  

“We are so happy to see our team members move on to their transfer institutions,” she continued. 

The team is planning three upcoming events: First up is the Steeltown Invitational, which will be hosted by LMC March 2 and 3. Next is the University of La Verne Womyn’s Herstory Tournament on March 22 to 24. Lastly is the USUDC National Championships at Clemson on April 11 to 15.

Arcidiacono-Kaufman is looking forward to this year’s endeavors. She knows there will be opportunities and challenges.

Anticipating the national championship in April, she stated, “I am looking forward to seeing our team excel this year and compete at Nationals in April at Clemson. I am excited to see how our newest team members find their place in the debate world and learn the ropes.” She believes the new team members will do great once they “get all the knowledge under their belts to compete.”

She has no doubt that the team will excel no matter what the challenge is.