The 2011-2012 competitive season for the speech and debate team was one of the most successful seasons the team has had in years past. Pacific students placed well at each tournaments, both individually and often as a team. The reason for this success is because of all the support given to us by both the speech coaches as well as the “Friends of Speech” alumni organization.

Some of the many awards the team has received includes Matt Yasuoka, first place for informative, extemporaneous speaking, impromptu, and persuasion; Brianna Castellini, first place for poetry; Lily Huynh, first place for after-dinner speaking; Michael Sproles, first place for prose; and Lily Huynh and Lindsey Murray-McLaughlin, first place for duo interpretation. These results all come from a single tournament at Clark College where the team also placed first overall in the tournament. Results like this were typical throughout the year where members consistently were going to finals and were awarded high ranks.

However, one place where more support is desperately needed is from the school itself. While this year was one of the most successful years for the team, it was also the most expensive years and because we had such a large expense, we are forced to seriously cut the number of tournaments we are able to go to and the number of people that are able to go to each one, next competitive season. This set back is not good for the current momentum of the team, especially since there will be a large number of incoming freshman next year further increasing the size of the team.

What this growing program needs is growing support from the school. As the team’s ability and size have increased drastically over the past few years, the support has not. What we need is the same support that many sports teams and clubs are given across campus.

The value of speech and debate in general and our ability to win awards as Pacific students makes us deserving of more funds so that we can continue to represent Pacific University as we do now. Without these funds, continued success will be more difficult because we will have to continue to have to cut more tournaments. As we cut these tournaments, our competitiveness goes down and our ability to represent Pacific University as award winning speakers.

All the team asks is to be given support from the school equal to the hard work that each and every one of us has put in, because without that support, the team will continue to lose opportunities to shine outside of the Pacific community.

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