Known not only as a club and program but also as a team, the Bellevue College Speech and Debate Society is a group of about 60 passionate and thriving members who dedicate themselves to this wonderful opportunity to develop multiple life long communication and critical thinking skills.
Their prosperous debating season has landed them outstanding awards. In the last regional competition alone, the BC Speech and Debate Society won 11 awards, nine of which received trophies. The team was granted a second and third place for the novice division. Regionally, BC came in third place for speech in debate and first place for debate!
During the national competition, hosted at Western Washington University, the team placed second in the junior division. This competition consisted of about forty different schools, each represented by roughly 5-10 teams.
Our BC Speech and Debate team have competed in eight different tournaments this year, traveling all the way to Oregon for the regional competition. Professor of the debate class here at BC as well as the head coach of the team, Denise Vaughan, can be credited with the students’ achievements. “Without her, we wouldn’t be anywhere. All of our success is due to her,” says club president, Stephanas Pizelo.
The team has also been successful financially. About $2,000 has been fundraised by the team from both the high school debate hosted at BC and the DJ bake sale last quarter.
Because the team has done very well in debate, the current goal for BC Speech and Debate is to focus more on the speech aspect of their activity. In addition, Pizelo emphasizes the goal to have more BC students receive debate-specific scholarships. He reports that last year two of our students received these scholarships ranging from fifteen to forty thousand dollars.
When asked about personal goals as the club’s president, Pizelo commented, “I want to help make the team better and improve the relationship with UW Bothell and UW Seattle, our sister schools.”
The speech and debate season is nearing its end with two final competitions. The biggest tournament of the year was hosted at Whitman in Walla Walla last weekend from Feb. 17-19. Nationals will be March 21-24 at Western. Tournaments are to resume next fall.
When the season is over, BC will still have practice tournaments, occurring approximately twice a month. Those interested in joining the BC Speech and Debate Society are encouraged to connect now. Practice competitions will prepare speakers and debaters for next year’s tournaments and strengthen necessary skills to succeed.
Meetings are held weekly in room C103 Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30-3:30. You can expect exercises, such as speed drills, practice debate rounds, and lectures on specific arguments.
On a final note, the BC Speech and Debate team wishes to thank the ASG for its support; the team would not have been able to attend the last regional tournament without them because the ASG specifically helped fund the group. In addition, a thank you goes to UW Seattle and Bothell for acting as a great role model. Finally, a huge amount of praise goes to assistant coaches Tom Hyatt and Charles Kincy, and the head coach, Denise Vaughan.