The Speech Team


Within the last 10 years Sally Van Bebber, the director of forensics better known to her students as “The Speech Coach,” has seen her students “go on to really good four-year colleges on scholarships.

“I have seen my students go onto Harvard, Cornell, Brown, Oxford, Manchester in the years I have been here,” Van Bebber added.

In her opinion, the speech team is a good training ground for learning how to do good research and develop a responsible academic goal.

During a tournament, the competitors will arrive and receive a topic and have 15 minutes to gather information. They are not allowed to get information from their teammates for that would be considered cheating, said Norris Cooper. “You have to be up on all the current events, any political issue, the energy crisis is huge right now at a debate tournament.”

Usually at a tournament, a student will get to pick their topic of debate so they come prepared. But sometimes a student goes into a debate not knowing a lot about their topic. When this happens “You just go with the flow, it is all about learning,” said Erin Brady.

A student is scored on a number of things but the main points are: how well the student’s arguments are, how well they speak or how well they answer questions that judges ask, said Cooper.

The team did remarkably well in the third tournament this semester. It was the regional Phi Rho Pi, held the weekend of March 3, 2001 in Clackamas, Oregon just outside of Portland. This was a competition in which only community colleges from five states competed against each other. The five states were Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Utah and Nevada.

Delta College was represented by four debate teams with three bringing home bronze metals.

Individual metals were picked up by Anousone Woolley, who picked fenced the competition, meaning she got “ones” in every round and received the gold metal ijn communication annulus. Adam Woolley, Anousone’s husband, received the silver metal in dramatic interpretation. Erin Brady received a silver metal for prose interpretation. Jennifer Anderson took fifth place and Norris Cooper eight place in speaker points.

Just this past Wednesday, six people on the speech team left for Pasadena for another community college tournament. At the end of April, Delta College will host “Spring Fling.”

Next year, the speech team will expand for people who want to be involved with them but don’t want to travel and want to speak out locally or who would just like to do research and cut literature for the team. For more information about the speech team talk to Sally Van Bebber in Shima 204 or by calling 954-5572.