This past weekend Skyline College’s Forensic team competed in the Golden Gate Season Opener tournament that spanned over the course of two consecutive twelve hour zoom days. 22 schools from across the Bay Area, Southern California, Oregon, Nevada, and Missouri participated in the intercollegiate speech and debate tournament hosted by the San Francisco Collective: San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco and Skyline College. Students had the opportunity to showcase talents in over 15 different categories of speech and debate events.
Trojans competed in Novice Impromptu Speaking. In this event, students are given a set of quotations and have 2 minutes to pick one quotation and then have to prepare a 5-minute speech. This is not an easy task. The following 9 students participated in Impromptu Speaking (alphabetical order): Diana Castro, Nerissa Chang, Zane Chang, Amaryllis Gao, Somerset Grant, Illeana Guillen, Emma Mayoral, Rhoel Paragas, and Priscilla Tso.
The first tournament of the year is stressful, especially when new team members are navigating the world of virtual tournaments for the first time. Two students broke to the final round in novice impromptu, despite being interrupted not once, but twice by a test of the emergency alert system. Being able to present a speech with an alarm blaring speaks volumes (pun intended). Somerset Grant took 6th place earning Bronze and Amaryllis Gao brought home the gold taking 1st place in impromptu.
Traditionally tournaments will hand out actual medals and trophies, but the SF Collective awards students with succulents and plants. This year students will be mailed a packet of sunflower seeds and a certificate. The collective puts an emphasis on sustainability and attempting to limit plastic consumption and waste. The seeds represent growth in many ways. Students who compete in forensics are pushed to expand research, analytical, and performative skills and due to this foundational structure students in turn “grow”. The seed awards are a physical reminder of how we should strive to grow: our minds, skill sets and potentially change the way we see concepts or ideas through participatory discourse.
I would like to take the time recognize Skyline College colleagues who came out to support not only Skyline College, but who continue to foster growth within the larger Forensics community: Language Arts Division Assistant Kennya Ruiz, Communication Studies Professor Jessica Hurless and Dean Chris Gibson. Thank you for your support at GGO.
Article by Lindsey Ayotte