Working together in a group is vital to the success of college students as well as adults in their career endeavors. The communications department at Santiago Canyon College has some impressive classes to offer students; one of them being Communications 101, otherwise known as group dynamics and the other one; Communications 130, also referred to as Forensics. The group dynamics class focuses on students learning and practicing the skills needed to improve interpersonal communication in a group setting. The forensics team give students the chance to develop speech and debate skills as well as theater techniques which they practice throughout the semester in order to participate in competitions with other community colleges. Both courses are taught by the passionate Professor Jared Kubicka-Miller.
This semester the students of group dynamics are working diligently on a project to assist the forensics team and improve the college for the future. This project is a showcase that will raise funds for the Forensics team budget and create a plethora of opportunities for future debaters. According to Kubicka-Miller the Forensics team has been active since 2000. It was thriving for a small portion of time until the “Great Recession” hit in 2008. That year, the funding got cut entirely and the team was forced to dissolve. The team made a triumphant return in 2013; they were even eligible to compete in the state championships which took place in Concord, California. They rented 15 passenger vans and embarked on a nine-hour road trip to make the competition.
Currently the budget allotted to the forensics team is $6,000, a stark contrast to the surrounding schools like Orange Coast College, which is estimated to run between $70,000-$100,000 a year. Kubicka-Miller stated that a good-size school requires at least $40,000 in order to cover competition entry fees, travel expenses, and other costs the team must consider. Due to the limited budget, students are only able to participate in local competitions and in some cases must pay out of pocket for their expenses. The team
has traveled to the surrounding areas of Moorpark, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, Irvine Valley College and Mt. San Antonio College. These short treks have all been valuable experiences for the students, but we are envisioning something superior to what they are familiar with. “I want to travel nationally, be able to go to maybe two national tournaments a year, next year in Washington DC, the following year in Daytona Beach, Florida,” said Professor Kubicka-Miller.
The forensic team has many benefits and opportunities to offer students in their academic careers. By participating in the team, members can expect to network with like-minded individuals and also open up their world to more scholarship and college transfer opportunities. This extracurricular activity looks wonderful on transcripts; it’s that extra stamp of flair universities search for. “I had a scholarship after I transferred, one year paid for at Cal State Long Beach. My wife received a full ride to Northern Arizona University because she is so good at persuasion; only way you can do that is through this community,” said Kubicka-Miller. Also, another important reason to take part in this activity is that it helps to build the reputation and identity of Santiago Canyon College.
The fundraiser event will be held at Santiago Canyon College on Friday, May 20 at 5:00 p.m. Tickets for the showcase go on sale soon and will cost $35 each, which covers the debate team showcase, a reception of creative “mocktails” and h’orsdeurves, and a silent auction. In the event that one cannot attend our fundraiser, but would like to make a contribution to the cause, we have a donation page set up. A donation of any amount is truly appreciated from the group dynamics class as well as the forensics team. You can make a secure donation at http://www.teamscc.kintera.org/sccforensics .
Submitted by Hawk Forensic Debate Team student Brianna Resendiz