Club of the Issue: Speech and Debate


Ally G.

Speech and debate could be compared to a game of chess, with defenses, rebuttals, and attacks. The LC State Speech and Debate Team leader offers a different perspective by putting the spotlight on the advantageous skills students can harness from joining the team. 

Taten Gorton has been a part of speech and debate since highschool and joined the LC State debate team last semester. 

“I know that many people find that public speaking is something that is scary or intimidating, and I originally felt the same way,” she said. 

Gorton went on to explain that those feelings were completely overridden by a motivating passion. 

 “What makes me so passionate about Speech and Debate is the power that comes from being able to share and compare thoughts and ideas,” she explained and expanded on her point.

Gorton stressed that in an “age of information,” individuals need to practice skills such as reading, comprehension, and communicating information in an effective manner. 

Currently, Speech and Debate team meetings are held when it is most convenient for the group members which has worked well for them.

“We do our best to hold our meetings when everyone can come, so the times for our meetings are fairly flexible,” Gorton said, “Right now they are on Tuesdays at 1:30 in the downstairs of the SUB.”

When tournament season comes around, the Speech and Debate team members rev up in preparation for the tournaments. Gorton shared that they hold “practice debates,” and help each other with their speeches.

“The environment is really positive,” Gorton said, and added that these tournament season sessions help team members become “more comfortable talking out loud,” as well as developing their “speaking style.” 

Speaking of positive environments, The Speech and Debate team recently held a bake sale event on May 3rd. Joining the Speech and Debate team can help you gain an influx of skills: speech, debate, communication (and baking). 

When asking Gorton her thoughts about what was the most interesting debate that the team has held, she shared that they debated a very present, pressing, and current topic. 

“The most interesting debate I have had so far has been about the United States’ involvement in the war between Russia and Ukraine,” Gorton said, and continued. 

“There were a number of angles from which the debate could go and it was really interesting to watch them explore the different points of view of each angle,” she said. 

If you are interested in joining and becoming a member of  the Speech and Debate Team, contact adviser Marcy Haplin ([email protected]), or drop in on one of the meetings to see if it is something you are interested in!