April 16, 2019

Debate Team Captain National Champion

SMC Debate Team
SMC Debate Team after Phi Rho Pi awards ceremony. From left to right: Dominic Smith, Genevieve Faherty, Coach Nate Brown, Team Captain, and National Debate Champion Shaindi Schwebel, Alexys Davis, Brandon Chase, and Chern Xun Gan.

SMC Debate Team Captain National Champion

Highest award in Public Debate for Team Captain at Phi Ro Pi National Speech & Debate Tournament

SANTA MONICA, CA—Santa Monica College (SMC) is pleased to announce that the SMC speech and debate team includes a national champion, having won the final round in International Public Debate at the Phi Rho Pi national speech and debate tournament in Reno, NV during spring break.

Team Captain Shaindi Schwebel competed in six preliminary rounds, advanced to semi-finals, won that round, advanced to finals, and won that round. Shaindi is in her second year on the SMC Debate Team.

In addition to Shaindi Schwebel, five other SMC students also competed at Phi Rho Pi, including Dominic Smith (Assistant Team Captain), Brandon Chase, Alexys Davis, Genevieve Faherty, and Chern Xun Gan. Most of the SMC squad competed in NPDA debate (National Parliamentary Debate Association), IPDA debate (International Public Debate Association), and Impromptu speaking.

Hundreds of students from 56 community colleges around the nation competed at Phi Rho Pi in a variety of events, including debate, oral interpretation, interpreter’s theatre, platform speaking, and limited preparation speaking.

Debate Team Captain Shaindi Schwebel had this to say: “Debate has enabled me to find my voice in a way I never could have imagined, and given me the chance to lead a team of brave, passionate, and intelligent people. Going to Phi Rho Pi is a once (or twice) in a lifetime experience that can’t be replicated. Taking home the gold in IPDA is the culmination not only of my hard work but of my coach’s and teammates’ hard work and dedication as well.”

In the semi-final round, Shaindi debated on the affirmative side of this resolution: “Zoological parks are unethical.” In the final round, she debated on the opposition side of this resolution: “The United States Federal Government should call a Constitutional convention.”

The 2020 Phi Rho Pi National Championship tournament will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 6-11, 2020.

The SMC Debate Team’s presence at this tournament was sponsored by the SMC Foundation Chair of Excellence Grant, the Associated Students of Santa Monica College, and the SMC Board of Trustees.

For more information on the SMC Debate Team, contact Nate Brown at brown_nate@smc.edu or 310-434-8781.

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).