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Pacific’s Powerhouse Speech and Debate Team Makes its Mark

Dec 2, 2009

Debaters Soar to the Top in National Rankings

Dr. Marlin Bates

Dr. Marlin Bates, Director of Forensics and Assistant Professor in the Communication Department, is starting off the awards ceremony for the largest non-national debate tournament in the country.  The earpiece "lives in his ear" 18 hours a day for four days during the tournament.

Parliamentary debate rankings came out in November, and Pacific's debate teams were listed in 1st, 23rd and 39th place, out of 552 teams across the country. While the rankings will fluctuate as tournament competition continues, these current placements highlight the strength of Pacific's Speech and Debate (Forensics) team, led by coach Dr. Marlin Bates.

In parliamentary debate, teams of two face each other and argue for or against resolutions (topics) that change for each round of competition.

1st Place
Will Chamberlain and Sarah Hamid

23rd Place
Tariq Bruno and Chelsea Kelleher

39th Place
Brandon Schwartz and Emily Sheldon

Pacific Takes First Overall at the Golden Gate Invitational

On October 31, 2009, the Pacific Speech and Debate team traveled to Berkeley to compete in the Golden Gate Invitational. Over 20 schools were in attendance and Pacific students dominated the event. This was a "swing" tournament, combining two tournaments in one weekend. Over three days of competition, Pacific finished first overall in school sweepstakes.

Pacific Hosts Largest Non-National Tournament in the Country

Chelsea Kelleher and Tariq Bruno

Chelsea Kelleher and Tariq Bruno in action. 

On November 6-8, 2009, the Pacific Speech and Debate team hosted the largest non-national tournament in the country. More than 73 Open Parliamentary Debate teams competed from 36 schools. Pacific students did amazingly well in this "swing" tournament. Since Pacific hosted the tournament, the team was not eligible for a sweepstakes award.  However, if they had been able to participate, the team would have finished first overall in school sweepstakes, earning over 27% of all available points!

Pacific will travel to Ohio State University to attend the Holiday Frolic tournament December 4 - 6.

In addition to debate, members of the Speech and Debate team compete in individual events, such as:

  • Prose and poetry interpretation
  • Informative speaking
  • Persuasive speaking
  • After dinner (humorous) speaking
  • Extemporaneous speaking
  • Impromptu speaking

Anyone interested in joining or finding out more about the Speech and Debate team should contact Dr. Bates by Email Link for Dr. Marlin Bates Email or 209.946.3049.

Steve Farias ’09

Steve Farias '09 was Emily Sheldon's debate partner previously; he is now an Assistant Coach, pursuing his M.A. in Communication.

Emily Sheldon

Emily Sheldon preps in between debate rounds.