On September 30 – October 2, 2022, Skyline College’s Forensic team competed in the Golden Gate Season Opener tournament that spanned over the course of three consecutive days. Twenty-four schools from across the Bay Area, Southern California, Oregon, Nevada, and Texas 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 fifteen 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 five students participated in Impromptu Speaking (alphabetical order): Isaiah Angeles, Ben Cook, Illeana Guillen, Julia Rogers and Anthony Tolosa. The first tournament of the academic year is stressful, especially when new team members are navigating the world of forensic tournaments for the first time. Julia Rogers broke to the final round in novice impromptu placing 6th overall earning bronze.

Traditionally tournaments will hand out actual medals and trophies, but the SF Collective awards students with succulents and plants. The plants 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 plant 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.   On Saturday November 19, 2022, Skyline College’s Forensic team competed in the “DVC Thing” tournament. Twenty-two schools from across the Bay Area, Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington participated in the inaugural tournament held at Diablo Valley College located in Pleasant Hill, CA.

Four students (pictured from left to right): Ben Cook, Anthony Tolosa, Lindsey Ayotte (Coach), Isaiah Angeles, and Julia Rogers competed in individual events (speech events). Anthony Tolosa advanced to finals in Novice Persuasion placing 3rd place overall! 

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 Professors Jessica Hurless, Joanne Babin, Sage Russo and Danielle Powell, Business Professors Grace Beltran and Soledad McCarthy, Dean Chris Gibson, and Dean Dino Nomicos. Thank you for your continued support. If you are interested in joining the speech and debate team, please consider enrolling in COMM 172: Forensics. No previous skills or experience required to join; all are welcome!  If you know someone who may be interested in joining the speech and debate team, please help spread the word! If you have any questions about joining the team, contact Director of Forensics, Lindsey Ayotte at ayottel@smccd.edu and (650)738-4276.

Article by Lindsey Ayotte | Photo by Anthony Tolsoa and Sage Russo

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