Speech team presents best of semester


Shane Louis

Saamia Haqiq, 17, presents her persuasive speech in the DVC PAC Theater on April 21, 2015.

Shane Louis, Co-editor-in-chief

The Diablo Valley College Speech and Debate Team presented their talents at a packed Speech Night on Tuesday, April 21.

As is common for this every-semester event, the room was packed with students, who, admittedly, were mostly attending to earn extra credit for their communication classes.

Nevertheless, this semester’s team members did not disappoint.

The show opened with Saamia Haqiq, who, despite being only 17-years-old, presented an eloquent persuasive speech on the issues with high incarceration rates and why rehabilitation is more effective.

Elicia Locke, who was an Inquirer staff member last fall, followed with an impromptu speech inspired by Taylor Swift’s song “Shake it off,” which was selected by the audience. With a steady stream of Disney references, Locke proved how just “shaking it off” is not the solution to bullying, depression nor vaccines. She argued that such issues should be confronted and dealt with head on.

Nicole Earl performed a dramatic interpretation titled “Villain and Able,” by Glynn Washington. The speech, first heard on the radio show “Snap Judgement,” follows a villain who proceeds to antagonize and struggle with Superman with lines like “It’s not brave to go into a burning building when you don’t burn.” Earl delivered the piece with commitment and emotion.

The final event of the evening was a parliamentary debate between Locke, her partner Nicole Morrison-Fountain and the other team: Paul Villa and Bradley Silva.

They debated whether DVC should install additional surveillance cameras on campus.

Both teams developed strong arguments, primarily pivoting around privacy and the best use of available funds. Villa and Silva suggested an alternative plan of hiring two additional campus police officers in order to have real people who can actually stop a crime.

Locke and Morrison-Fountain pointed out the success of San Joaquin Delta College’s camera installation, which resulted in a 64 percent decrease in car burglaries in 2008.

The most memorable quote of the debate was by Silva when explaining why the cameras should not be installed: “Where’s the guy in the back row supposed to smoke weed now?”

In the end, the audience’s applause resulted in a tie. All performers did an excellent job of showcasing the Speech and Debate Team’s talent.

Omari Travis, 23, plans on joining the team in the fall. “These were the most amazing speeches I’ve seen in my life,” he said.

Alex Ford, 23, has been on the team for a year and a half, and says his favorite part is “the general sense of camaraderie, but also getting to argue about pointless crap all the time.”

Morrison-Fountain says she loves the people too. “You thought you knew a lot,” she says. “And then you learn that you don’t know much at all.”

Haqiq says it’s most exciting for her to find people who have the same interests and want to utilize their voice.

“It’s really great to learn from people who already have a lot of experience,” she says.

She even enjoys the adrenaline rush that comes with public speaking. Quoting team-member Gabe Torres, 20, she said, “People get high just to have the experience that you had tonight.’”