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Santa Monica College Debate Team Takes First Place
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By Lookout Staff

December 8, 2016 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) debating team took first place this weekend at the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association Fall Championships tournament, school officials announced this week.

During the tournament, which was held at Orange Coast College from Friday through Sunday, SMC's Ben Kolodny and Matthew Linsky defeated two teams from UCLA and one from Point Loma Nazarene University in the final round to win the British Parliamentary debate division.

Picture of Santa Monica College Dabate Team
Matthew Linsky (left) and Ben Kolodny (Photo courtesy of Santa Monica College)  

“All of our award winners joined our team this semester, but through intense dedication, commitment, and hard work, they were able to defeat teams that have many semesters -- or even years -- of experience,” said Luis Andrade, SMC Communication professor.

“The Santa Monica College debate team is stronger than ever and incredibly motivated to put in the work to succeed at nationals,” Andrade said.

The tournament included 40 teams from two-year and four-year colleges, with 13 of the teams of two students each competing in the British Parliamentary debate division.

In addition to the team victory, Linsky won first place in varsity impromptu speaking in a field of 42 competitors, and Ashley Grace won first place in junior informative speaking in a field of 18 competitors, college officials said.

Garrett Parker, a new debater on the team, received a third place individual award.

The tournament featured four preliminary debates and a final debate on whether public protests should be peaceful or violent. The individual speech events division featured two preliminary debates and a finals speech round.

For more information on the SMC Debate Team, contact Luis Andrade at or 310-434-4771.

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