CSU, Chico News

Speech and Debate Students Win Bid to National Contest

Date: 10-10-2014

Sue Peterson, Director
Speech and Debate
Sarah Langford
Public Affairs

Outstanding student performances at a collegiate speech and debate contest have landed California State University, Chico its first bids to a national forensics tournament in 2015.

Junior Colby Knox captured first place in two novice extemporaneous speaking events at the 2014 Golden Gate Opener, held at San Francisco State University Sept. 26-28. Knox and sophomore Kassandra Bednarski, who was selected as a finalist in the same event, have qualified to compete in the National Forensics Association’s national tournament. The contest will be hosted at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, next April.

Knox also took fourth place in both of the contest’s impromptu speaking events.

The seventh annual tournament allowed students to compete at two levels in 11 individual events and three team debates: parliamentary, policy and Lincoln-Douglas. Fifteen CSU, Chico students competed after preparing for just five weeks.

More than 25 public and private colleges and universities participated, including Butte College and CSU, Northridge, San Jose State University and San Francisco State University.

Several other CSU, Chico students delivered standout team performances. Sophomores Justin Flick and Kevin Hernandez took first place honors in the novice parliamentary debate, while seniors Zach Keller and Kyle Davis advanced to the semifinals in that event. Overall, Flick placed fifth out of more than 40 speakers.

First-time competitor Adrianna McCain, a junior, also took top novice honors in the after-dinner speaking event.

Speech and debate director Sue Peterson said the team’s high marks are particularly impressive given the limited amount of time the students had to prepare.

“We have a young team – very few of our competitors have more than a year of experience, and many of them have only one semester prior to the current one – so I'm excited to see what they can do as the year progresses and they get more competitive experience,” Peterson said.

The team will travel next to Lewis and Clark College and Santa Rosa Junior College for a competition Oct. 10-12.

CSU, Chico’s Speech and Debate Team is a full-service intercollegiate forensics program. Students compete in cross examination, policy debates and individual events in tournament settings against other colleges and universities. For more information, please visit www.csuchico.edu/forensics.