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Santa Monica Debate Team Wraps Up Winning Season

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Lookout Staff

May 9, 2019 -- Two weeks after taking first place in the national championships, Santa Monica College's Speech and Debate Team appropriately cooled down in the season's last tournament.

The team took three second place awards at the Pacific Southwest Colleges Forensics Association (PSCFA) Cool-Off tournament April 27 and 28 at Cerritos College.

Santa Monica College Debate Team Winners
Chern Xun Gan and Arundhati Ghosh
(Courtesy SMC)

Chern Xun Gan won second place in both the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate and in Impromptu Speaking.

In her first tournament ever, new team member Arundhati Ghosh also won second place in IPDA debate.

Ghosh debated whether corporations ought to be held to the same moral standards as the actions of individuals and whether ethical concerns outweigh economic concerns.

She also debated whether Disney does more harm than good and whether philosophy should be valued over science.

“It was kind of hard to compete at the last round of the debate tournament but it was a learning experience,” Ghosh said.

“I learned some new ways of effective and efficient debating. It was a new experience for me."

More than 100 students from 22 California and Arizona community colleges competed in the tournament.

The events included debate, oral interpretation, platform speaking and limited preparation speaking.

SMC students Brandon Chase, JP de Oliveira, Joshua Chang, Will Stonehouse, El Hussein and Miguel Sanchez also competed in the tournament.

Two week's earlier, team captain Shaindi Schwebel took first place in International Public Debate at the Phi Rho Pi national speech and debate tournament ("SMC Debate Team Wins National Championship," April 17, 2019).

The debate team also took top awards at half a dozen other tournaments during he school year.

They included the PSCFA Warm-Up, the Crossman Invitational, the PSCFA Fall Champs, the Tabor-Venitski Championships and the PSCFA Spring Championships.

The team’s participation at the Cool-Off tournament was sponsored by an SMC Foundation Chair of Excellence Grant, an SMC Foundation Margin of Excellence Grant, the Associated Students of Santa Monica College and Santa Monica College.

For more information on the SMC Debate Team, contact Nate Brown at or 310.434.8781.

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