Six students from the Speech and Debate Team packed their bags and flew to San Francisco to compete in the 33rd Annual Stanford Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament.
With more than 1,000 competitors from around the world, the Stanford Invitational is one of the top Speech and Debate tournaments in the country. This was the first time we sent multiple competitors to Stanford, and the team members, all of whom participated in competitive "speech" events, represented our team and school exceptionally well:
Rose L. ('22) (Junior Varsity Original Oratory) delivered compelling speeches about the need for prison reform. In her second preliminary round, Rose placed first in her room of six competitors and earned a perfect speaker point score of 30!
Gabe S. ('21) (Junior Varsity Original Oratory) spoke about the causes, effects, and ways of overcoming fear. In Gabe's second round, against tough competition from six other students, his polished and gripping delivery earned him second place.
Jack B. ('21) (Junior Varsity Original Oratory) also delved into the biology and psychology of fear, and Jack's consistently solid performances got him a third-place ranking out of seven in his third preliminary round.
Sam G. ('19) (Varsity Original Oratory) presented thoughtful and hilarious orations about our media-induced outrage culture, and for his impassioned performances Sam got third place out of seven in his first preliminary round.
Benny G. ('21), who kept himself busy competing in two separate speech events (Junior Varsity Original Oratory and Varsity Spontaneous Argumentation), educated audiences about the nature and pitfalls of the placebo effect. He also participated in spontaneous debates with just one minute to prepare, and Benny's off-the-cuff argumentation skills earned him third place in a varsity speech round against seven competitors.
Hannah R. ('20), our sole competitor in Junior Varsity Oratorical Interpretation, presented a 10-minute excerpt from David Foster Wallace's famous college commencement speech "This Is Water." Adding her own personality and perspective to Wallace's charge to graduating college seniors, Hannah delivered eloquent performances about the real purpose of a liberal arts education.
Although our competitors did not advance to elimination rounds, they performed consistently well in preliminary rounds, and they now have even greater knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to dominate at future tournaments.