The Fullerton College Debate Team students are preparing for a national debate championship tournament to be held on campus in March.
The National Educational Debate Association is a well-known debate association on the East Coast and it has chosen Fullerton College to host its first West Coast tournament. The decision could possibly be credited to the FC Forensic Team’s performance at last year’s national debate.
The debate students are researching every aspect of the decided topic for the tournament: whether or not the U.S. government should raise the minimum wage.
This will be the first NEDA National Debate Championship west of the Rocky Mountains, and FC is honored to be the selected venue.
“It is an honor, yet a little intimidating, to host the NEDA competition here at Fullerton College,” debate team professor Doug Kresse said.
The team’s performance in the 2015 national tournament showed NEDA that FC’s students were serious about debating and are some of the most well-informed students in the country.
Six students from the forensics team were sent to Dayton, Ohio last year to compete against university students for the NEDA national title.
In the tournament, FC debaters competed against university students with close to four years of collegiate experience in debate, and placed second with no more than half the experience.
The forensics team was also honored as “New Outstanding Program,” as each FC student placed no lower than fourth in each of their respective events. This was described as “unheard of” by Kresse.
“We came in second overall, so I think that had a lot to do with them wanting to come out here,” debate student Joseph Phillips said. “It showed them that we are dedicated to NEDA.”
The pressure is on for the debate students as they prepare for the two-day contest, and hope to do as well as they did last year. There is an art to winning a debate that has a lot to do with presentation, simplicity in argument and common sense.
“The foundation for everyone in the team starts with good research, that is mainly how we start to prepare,” debate student Micheal Wu said.
NEDA emphasizes audience-focused debating, which is to target convincing the audience rather than proving the opponent wrong.
The forensics students are very proud of what they have accomplished, both for themselves as young academics and for the college, and are looking forward to the upcoming national debate.
“I’m immensely proud of the Fullerton College speech and debate team,” debate team professor Jeff Samano said. “I sure hope we are first place contenders! We will find out at NEDA nationals.”