Phi Rho Pi Club looks to further its success this semester

Abraham Venegas and Abraham Venegas

Vice President of the Phi Rho Pi Club, Analicia Avila, has made it into the quarterfinals in the junior parliamentary debate of the Sunset at the Beach Tournament and plans to go further with her club in other competitions this semester.

The Sunset at the Beach Tournament held at Point Loma Nazarene University was one of three competitions the speech and debate team has participated in.

There are three groups on campus that are associated with speech and debate.

“There is the class which is taught by April Griffin and Katrina Taylor. The team is (made up of) anybody who goes to tournaments and competes. Then there is the club which is a student-run club.” said Matt Hamiliton, President of the Speech and Debate Club.

The club members have the option of participating in tournaments. As for the team members, they are required to compete in at least one competition.

At the beginning of the fall 2012 semester, the speech and debate team consisted of entirely new members except for Avila and Hamilton who are preparing for the Tavor-Venitsky Tournament.

The tournament will be held at Cerritos College from Feb. 15 to Feb. 17 with schools from all over California competing.

Debaters’ preparation consists of practicing their impromptus, researching topics and arguments.

According to Griffin the first two days of the tournament are the Tavor-Vensitsky Tournament, and the last day is the Southern California Lincoln Douglas Championships.

“The first day on Friday we are going to have four rounds of debate with two elimination rounds,” Griffin said.

Every round students will be given a different topic to debate about. Students will be awarded depending on their performance.

Individual events on the second day will include a variety of events from “informative speaking, persuasive speaking, expatriating speaking and interpretation events.”

“(The) last day of competition, there will be a one-on-one debate and a research-based event on the topic of reform in agriculture,” Griffin said.

Students can only participate in the last event if they’re part of the open/varsity division.

As for the number of members that will represent the Cerritos College team in the tournament, “We still have some people who are getting back to us, but we have a least 15,” Griffin said.

There will be more tournaments that the speech and debate team will compete in, including: PSCFA Spring Championship on Feb. 22 – Feb. 24, the State Championship on March 14 – March 17, and the National Championship on April 15 – April 20.

A fundraiser is also being planned by the Phi Rho Pi Club on Feb. 21.

Avila said, “It’s possible we are doing a bake sale.”

Another event planned by the club is to take a trip to local high schools that will take place from May 6 – May 9.

Avila said the purpose of the club is to present students the benefits of joining a speech and debate team in college.

Club meetings are held every Friday from noon to 12:30 p.m.