What is Speech and Debate?
The MJC Speech and Debate team is an award winning and nationally ranked program that travels and competes in local, statewide, and national tournaments. You might hear Speech and Debate referred to as “forensics,” which roughly translates to “the search for truth.” Many people are familiar with this term because of shows like CSI, but within the Communication Studies discipline we search for truth through dialogue. This can take a variety of forms in competitive speech and debate. Students in our program can compete in the following events: platform speaking, oral interpretation, limited preparation, and debate. To learn more about these events, check out the events section of this site for more detailed descriptions and video examples of what past students have done.
What are the class requirements?
Students on the team have different levels of experience and free time, so some students choose to be more involved than others — but everyone can excel! These are some of the things you should expect to do during your time on the team.
- Attend class. The class meets twice a week for approximately an hour for lecture / and activities. There is also a “lab” component where you can expect to spend a couple more hours a week writing, researching, rehearsing, and / or practicing you chosen event(s).
- Prepare your events. Students in their first year need to have at least one event. This usually involves research, writing, memorization, and blocking but can vary depending on what you choose to do. These events are used all season long.
- Travel to at least one tournament. Tournaments take place on weekends and usually last 1-3 days. All tournament dates are available at the beginning of the semester for those who need to request time off from work or make child care arrangements. Students can choose to attend more than one tournament. Please Note: During the COVID-19 Pandemic many or all of our tournaments will take place online. This means you would be able to complete your tournament requirement from the comfort of your own home. We plan to virtually travel to both real time tournaments (over video conferences) and asynchronous tournaments (where video recordings will be uploaded and judged).
- Help facilitate Speech Night. Students on the team perform in Speech Night and help run the show.
- Complete 9 service hours. Students give back to the Communication Studies community each semester by completing service hours. This can include performing a sample speech in a professor’s class, volunteering as a judge at a local high school tournament, helping to design flyers for a Communication Studies event or class, etc.
How do I get involved?
The MJC Speech and Debate program provides a great chance to enhance your skills as an actor, debater, or public speaker. Students who are interested in the team can join by enrolling in COMM 105: Intercollegiate Speech and Debate on PiratesNet. The class is worth 3 units and can be repeated up to 4 times. During class meetings and outside practices, you will gain the skills and experiences needed to excel as an orator.