By Johania Charles
The STAY WOKE Speech and Debate Competition was birthed in 2018 after Barry's College of Arts and Sciences staged its first ever Get Woke Mini Conference series to discuss societal issues and college student activism.
It was that year that The Buccaneer newspaper created a speech and debate competition to inspire Barry University students to "stay woke," as the event name describes.
On Nov. 21, 2019, The Buccaneer held its second annual STAY WOKE Speech and Debate Competition in partnership with the college's communication department.
The debate included the following topics inspired by the stories in The Buccaneer’s fall and winter 2019 issues:
1. Visible tattoos and piercings should not be outlawed in the workplace
(argued by Nahjah Hilson)
2. Immigration policies like Temporary Protected Status does not cause a strain on the economy (argued by Joseph Minani)
3. Quick apps like Uber, Grub Hub and Wish do people more harm than good
(with the affirmative argued by Aaliyah Polanco and the negative by Olivia Lucier)
4. Increase in mental health awareness has fueled feelings of depression and suicide in teens (affirmative argued by Kayla Posten and negative argued by Taila Mittler)
5. Celebrities should regard themselves as role models in modern society
(affirmative argued by Armiyah Morine and negative by Kevin Hunter)
The first section of the event included two speeches given by Nahjah Hilson and Joseph Minani, followed by a debate round of topics number three to five.
After delivering their speech, the participants answered a series of questions from both officials and members of the audience to determine their ability to provide a rebuttal.
The official inquirers consisted of Dr. Sean Foreman from the department of history and political science, manager of library archives Ximena Valdivia, and the office of mission engagement VISTA Jaedyn Amaro.
Our speech round winner was: Nahjah Hilson
Our debate round winners were: Olivia Lucier, Kayla Posten and Armiyah Morine.
The overall winners were as follows:
First Place Winner: Olivia Lucier, Topic: Quick apps like Uber, Grub Hub and Wish do people more harm than good (negative)
Second Place Winner: Armiyah Morine, Topic: Celebrities should regard themselves as role models in modern society (affirmative)
Third Place Winner: Kayla Posten, Topic: Increase in mental health awareness has fueled feelings of depression and suicide in teens (affirmative)
Overall, the competition was a great success with a full audience and special guest judges which included Barry professors Dr. Sean Erwin, Professor Jennifer Steele, Dr. Lawrence Byrne and Florida Memorial University Professor Jefferson Noel.