by Charlie Guese | Chief Copy Editor

St. Mary’s College is known for its athletic teams that receive acknowledgement nationally and internationally for their talent and excellence, but another St. Mary’s team also draws recognition for their enduring performance— The Macken Debate and Speech Team.

The team, which is currently composed of Samantha Edmondo, Jon Gumz, Noah O’Connor, Miranda Rowley, Jennifer Stanley, and Carmen Terlaje, compete regionally on various styles of debate, including Persuasive Speaking, Informative Speaking, and Extemporaneous Speaking, among others. The debaters work tirelessly on their speeches and cases in hopes of speaking their best while representing St. Mary’s.

“I love the activity,” said Edmondo in an interview with The Collegian via email. “It allows one to learn a variety of skills that can be used for life.”

Stanley said that she sees herself evolving in participating in such a passionate extracurricular activity. “I hope to accomplish seeing myself grow as a person and seeing how arguing and doing something I love further influences me,” said Stanley.

The Macken Debate and Speech Team have also proven some admirable results so far this semester at various tournaments across the region. At the Northwest Parli-IE Warm-up Tournament at Bellevue College in Bellevue, Washington on September 22-23, O’Connor and Edmondo placed second in the junior division, while Rowley and Terlaje placed fourth. Rowley also placed seventh as a junior speaker and third in Persuasive Speaking. Edmondo placed third in Persuasive Speaking.

At the Golden Gate Regional Opener at San Francisco State University on September 28-30, O’Connor and Edmondo survived to become open octofinalists, while Gumz and Stanley were novice quarterfinalists. Gumz placed eleventh out of 66 in novice debate speakers. O’Connor also placed nineteenth out of 74 in open debate speakers. Rowley received first place in novice Persuasive Speech. Rowley, as well as Terlaje, were finalists in novice Extemporaneous Speaking.

More recently, the team traveled to Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon for the Steve Hunt Invitational on October 12-14. Gumz and Stanley were quarterfinalists in novice debate. Rowley placed first in Persuasive Speaking, while Terlaje placed third in Extemporaneous Speaking.

The team also competed at the Keven Twohy Invitation at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California this weekend, though results were not available before this article made to print.

The team does not exist solely inside the speech and debate bubble, however. The mission of speech and debate— arguing passionately and reasonably in order to create an impact on others— echoes closely to St. Mary’s values.

“I think the Debate Team relates to a larger St. Mary’s community by representing the beliefs of the students here as a whole,” said Stanley, “as well as a student body that enjoys getting involved. From what I have encountered so far here as a first[-year] student is that many of the students here are not afraid to voice their opinions on matters.”

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