Yorba Linda High School Goes to Speech and Debate State Championship

Speech and Debate Tournament Recap


From Left to Right: Wayne Chan, Nate Yi, Evan Yi, Kelly Nguyen (Photo courtesy of Ms. Dagampat)

Wayne Chan, Photojournalist

During April 28th to April 30th, four students of the Yorba Linda High School speech and debate program attended the state championship tournament hosted by California High School Speech Association (CHSSA).

In order to attend the state championship, a contestant must first win at the state qualifier of his or her speech league. In the Orange County Speech League State Qualifier Wayne Chan (10) won 2nd place, and Nate Yi (11) won 4th place for congressional debate. At state championship Wayne Chan (10) and Nate Yi (11) competed in congressional debate, Evan Yi (11) competed in impromptu speaking while Kelly Nguyen (11)   competed in original oratory.

For congressional debate, the student congress debated upon seven legislations in six different chambers. Each chamber hosted 15 different senators, totaling to 90 congressional contestants from across the state. In the first round, the first legislation debated concerned the aging electrical grid of the nation. The legislation called for a reconstruction of the infrastructure and the implementation of a smart grid. During the second round, the second legislation was argued upon. It mandated for the emergency treatment of minors as a way to prevent prayer based healing mortalities. The Third legislation resolved for the abolishment of the insanity plea. The fourth called for a point based system as a method of modernization to our immigration system. The fifth legislation was a bill to form a cyber security  branch of the military. The sixth legislation revised the executive order. The last piece of legislation served as a contingency plan in case the sixth legislation was tabled. It was a bill placing sanctions against the Philippines for the extra-judiciary killings incentivized by President Duterte’s government and his blatant lack of humanitarian regards.

In impromptu speaking, contestants are given a quote or a word a certain amount of time to prepare a speech interpreting and expanding on the topic. Evan Yi while competing received topics as random as just the word “closet” unaccompanied by anything else. Equipped with only his imagination and intellect he was forced to expatiate upon the simple vocabulary. In another instance he was given the deep philosophical quote “military justice is to justice as military music is to music.”

In Original Oratory Kelly Nguyen gave a brilliantly written speech regarding how fan culture and how it encourages the breaking down of boundaries.

Although no Yorba Linda High School contestants placed, it was still an impressive feat to participate in the championship and a valuable experience to step outside of the Orange County Speech League.