COM 101 students debate various topics

Performance graded on the ability to pick apart arguments


Grinesa Bajrami and Jackson Bogan

To teach students public speaking skills, students in Communications 101/102 have started their controversial topic debates

“The debate in COM 101 is made with critical thinking in mind, and I wanted students to progress from their first declamation speech,” Communications and Freshman Studies teacher Henry Castillo said. “To eventually improve interacting and engaging with other students in the class and improve their public speaking.”

Students have submitted multiple topics they were interested in. Topics include abortion, gun laws and free college tuition. 

“I picked free college because it’s relevant and interesting,” senior Stefanos Bingham said. “Right now, there’s a lot of free college talk with the democratic debate, so I can research it easily. Honestly, I felt it’d be an easy win since there are strong points on both sides.”

Without knowing what side they’d argue for, students were required to write both affirmative and negative cases. On the day they debate, they will then find out what side they are on and their opponent.

“I think I did amazing,” senior Will Grube said. “I always love to debate, and I was able to debate on a topic that I really love, which is guns. I definitely think I could have done more research on my topic, but I still think I won my debate”.

After the debates, students will begin working on their final informative speeches before exams. 

“My goals are for the students to be more proficient in public speaking, in eye contact, swaying and just to continue working on their ability to be confident and working with others,” Castillo said.