Colleges duel on hot issues

Katie Mastro

The Saddleback College debate team faced off against Irvine Valley College on Oct. 29 and Nov. 2.

Deliberate quotes tapped the air, principal terms were promptly defined and engaged audience members took part in the activity by snarling “here-here” or slamming their hands on adjacent chairs.

The Oct. 29 debate, which was on illegal prostitution, was located at Saddleback in SSC 212. The home team argued for it to become legalized, highlighting the decreased quality of life for current prostitutes and the basic human right everyone has to use their body however they deem fit.

“We argue in favor of it or against it. We aren’t debating our moral beliefs,” said Saddleback team member Phil Huerta, 20, political science. “We are given 15 minutes to prepare our cast usually, but we were informed on our topic the night before. My partner and I literally prepared just 20 minutes before the round.”

For the second debate, IVC had two different debaters while Saddleback kept the same ones.

“There are currently six [Saddleback] debaters,” said Huerta’s debate partner Rachel Smick, 24, English. “To be on debate, you have to be enrolled in Forensics Activity 106.”

The debate had a rocky start.

“Six of us heard about the debate time, but then we learned in order to compete in events we had to register for forensics,” said debate team member Aaron Jabbari, 18, philosophy. “Forensics Activity is an open entry, open exit class, in theory. People come when they can and stay until they have to leave. You get what you put in.”

The Nov. 2 debate marched to a different beat.

There was lofty music that drifted in when people stopped debating and packaged fodder provided at the entrance. “It’s similar, but very different,” said IVC Director of Forensics Edwin Tiongson. “IVC will be in favor because it is on their campus. Normally, in any debate arena they are automatically designated a side.”

The IVC debate also had a set order of events. After the first debate ended, the topic of the impeachment of George W. Bush was selected.

While debaters were outside preparing, there was a prose interpretation and impromptu speaking inside.

The debaters achieved some interest from the audience.

“I was not initially very interested,” said IVC debate member Michael Rodriguez, 21, business. “But when I came back, I saw a different side. The first time I didn’t really understand what it was all about, but later I realized it was a game I could learn over time. The idea of a logic game really intrigued me.”

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