Speaking of Champions

After weeks of putting their speaking and debating skills to the test, student finalists will compete in the 7th Annual Expressions Speech and Debate Tournament Championship at 7 p.m. March 9 in Page Hall Multipurpose Room on the upper Westmont campus. The event is free and open to the public.

More than $10,000 in prize money will be awarded to winners throughout the speech and debate tournaments, with a $500 prize going to the overall debate champion and $200 awards going to the class champions in speechmaking.

The top debater from each class will participate in the championship. The two winners of the class debate will then vie for the overall championship. The debates are impromptu and the final topic will be on a national or international current issue. Last year’s debate question was, “Would the United States be justified in torturing a captured terrorist in order to prevent an imminent terrorist attack on America?”

A coin toss will decide which topic is debated and which debater has the affirmative or negative side. After five minutes preparation time, the affirmative side has five minutes to present his or her points followed by a two-minute period of cross-examination by the negative side. The same applies to the negative side and then both sides are allowed closing remarks.

The Expressions Speech and Debate Tournament is funded each year by Robert and Jean Svoboda of Montecito.

For more information about the debate tournament, contact director Josh Cox at (805) 565-6693 or for more information about the speech tournament, contact director Katie Schick at (805) 565-6727. For directions to campus, visit our Web site at www.westmont.edu.