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Compton College debate students had an impressive showing during the recent Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association 2017 Fall Championships held at Moorpark College in early December. The students competed in the parliamentary debate category and took home a total of seven awards. Compton College's six debate teams were among more than 111 teams competing in parliamentary debate, representing 37 different two- and four-year colleges in California and Arizona.

In the final rankings, one team went undefeated and earned gold – Tahnesia Hall and Gina De Four; and another team earned silver – Jorge Zarate and Kelisha Gonzales. Eloquent Speaker awards went to the following Compton College students: Rashida Pittman, second place; Kelisha Gonzales, third place; Tahnesia Hall, fifth place; Deireanne Morales, sixth place; and Eliza Nunez, eighth place. The Eloquent Speaker award is a cumulative ranking of the students' debate skills during the entire tournament.

"The debate tournament was an educationally enriching experience," said gold-medal team member Tahnesia Hall. "It was a stimulating way to gain valuable lifetime tools and challenge myself with boundless opportunities."

The thirteen Compton College debate students include: Gina De Four, Candice Earl, Walter Gerard, Kelisha Gonzales, Tahnesia Hall, Mara Jaimes, Deireanne Morales, Eliza Nunez, Rashida Pittman, Alexys Quero, Christine Richardson, Sergio Ruiz and Jorge Zarate.

Now in its fourth year, the team is coached by Liza Rios, communications instructor, who is working with Compton College's dean of student success to establish an official forensics program in the future. Currently, students enrolled in the COMS 120–Argumentation and Debate class have the option at the end of each semester to compete at a debate tournament against other novice debaters from other colleges.

"Participating in the Argumentation and Debate class provides students with a life-changing opportunity of having a voice and using their critical-thinking skills to express their arguments in the debate forum," said Rios. "My class curriculum is designed so each student has about 10 debates under his or her belt before the end of the semester."

All Compton College students are invited to enroll in COMS 120–Argumentation and Debate (section 9274), which also satisfies either the Public Speaking (Area A-1) and/or the Critical Thinking component (Area A-3) for California State University general education transfer requirements. Those interested in enrolling may contact Liza Rios at lrios@elcamino.edu or register directly online for the spring 2018 semester at www.compton.edu.



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