Monday, July 16 , 2018, 1:44 pm | Fair 72º


Westmont Sophomore Talks His Way to Two Debate Titles

Felix Huang delivers Great and Persuasive speeches while senior Jon Walton wins the debate

Felix Huang ranged from William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery to an argument for Taiwan's entry to the United Nations.
Felix Huang ranged from William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery to an argument for Taiwan’s entry to the United Nations. (Jessica Conrad photo)

More than 150 people packed Westmont College’s Page Multipurpose Room for the culmination of the month-long Tournament of Expressions: Finals in Debate, Great Speeches and Persuasive Speeches recently. The competition was started in 1996 through the generosity of Montecito residents Jean and Robert Svoboda to further the study and development of critical thinking in oral communication. Each year the Svobodas award hundreds of dollars to the student finalists, said Scott Craig, Westmont’s media relations manager.

Sophomore Felix Huang walked away the big winner, capturing the Great Speeches and Persuasive Speeches titles. His Great Speech was taken from William Wilberforce’s 1789 abolition speech and his Persuasive Speech was an argument for Taiwan’s entry in the United Nations. Senior Jon Walton won the debate competition, arguing about the human responsibility to prevent the extinction of species.

The competition is divided into two parts, one focused on speeches and the other on impromptu debate. Contestants in the debate are given a choice of two different topics. After five minutes of preparation, each contestant has a total of 10 minutes to elaborate on the chosen topic with the time broken up for arguments and rebuttals between the two contestants.

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at [email protected]

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