In March, the Mesa College 2008 Olympian Speech and Debate Team returned from London, England, as world class champs. After beating out teams from 35 colleges and universities in the International Forensics Association (IFA) tournament during Spring break, the Mesa College Olympians returned with a string of honors, including the title of international debate champions. Next week, the Brits are in town, and they want a face off. Always up for a match with a friendly rival, the Mesa College Olympians have accepted the challenge.
So on Thursday, November 20, it’s the Brits versus the Olympians as the university and college teams face off in parliamentary, or academic, debate. In such a match, two-person teams debate against each other using a topic called a resolution. One team, the Government, supports the resolution; and the other team, known as the Opposition, argues against the Government. It’s not uncommon for it to be a rowdy affair, and audience participation is mandatory. If the debaters say something you like, you can knock or yell out "Here, Here!" in approval. And, if the debaters say something you don't like, you can hiss, jeer or yell out, "Shame!" at them. Hey, who said academics can’t be fun!
Representing the British are Derek Doyle, 24 of Kerry, Ireland (which he explains is “sort of like being British but more charming and unburdened by post-colonial guilt”), and Ed James, 20. Both attend Edinburgh University. On the Mesa side are Mauro Lara, team captain of the Mesa debate team, and Jessica Hastings, who joined the Mesa team in 2007.
Both sets of teams competed in England, but not against each other. In addition to the top honors, the Mesa College team members took first, third, and sixth places in debate, and secured a second place sweepstakes certificate in the community college division, and a sixth place overall sweepstake award. Lara and Haskins are the Mesa College students that brought home the gold.
In town for the National Communication Association (NCA) convention on November 21 to 24, (and of which Mesa College is co-hosting through the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association), the British students were aiming for a bout, and Lara and Haskins were only too happy to accommodate the international rivals.
The public is invited to attend the match, slated for Thursday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
The Brits vs. the Olympians International Debate
San Diego Mesa College
Thursday, November 20, 6:30 p.m., Room H117/118