The SVUDL Pumpkin Classic was our biggest event this year. For the first time, we started preparation for the JV division, which is immensely exciting. Almost half our debaters were new recruits; all in all, fifty debaters made the day a busy and tremendous success. When asked how they were feeling at the beginning of the day, the common feeling was “nervous, but looking forward to my rounds”. Statements like this show that this year’s debate students have put a lot of time and effort into their research and practice and are determined to shine in rounds.
By lunch, there was a clear change in the debaters’ mood. They were more confident and arguing with passion. Coaches caught up in the momentum of the day even began some heated debates.The end of the day was a time for students to relish in their victories, laugh off their errors, and share tips and stories about their tournament experience.
Thanks to our wonderful volunteer, Maria Chiang, we had the pleasure of welcoming a new speaker, Elizabeth Douglas, president and COO of WikiHow. She met with student leaders, then spoke to our newest Women's Association members to talk about careers, advocacy, and debate.
The day was livened up with a new look to the award trophies (they spin!) and another round of the “Two Minutes of Fame”, where students have a chance to captivate the audience with a skill of their choice. The show gives students a chance to tap into their creative side and share their talent with the SVUDL staff, debaters and volunteers. Students passionately recited original poems and sang songs. One of our talented poets walked away with a grand prize of $100.
As always, SVUDL would not achieve their success without the dedicated vlunteers and coaches dedicating their Saturday to debaters. A special thanks goes out to Mr. Rey Castellanos, for a superb, reliable job with transportation and letting our students focus on debate!.Thanks to his attention to detail, our students were on time and safe. Overall, we had a great time and our students left feeling pumped about the Fall Championship Tournament at Santa Clara University on December 12, 2015.