Santa Rosa Debaters Win National Collegiate Debate Championship

March 27, 2018 - Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) has won the overall National Collegiate Debate Championship in the 2018 season sweepstakes, a first for a two-year institution in the twenty-five-year history of the National Parliamentary Debate Association. Fending off a last moment surge by UC Berkeley, the SRJC Bear Cubs accomplished this unique feat in the midst a most challenging year for our community and college.

Since last September, twenty-five Santa Rosa students competed in nine intercollegiate tournaments, amassing a record number of victories across all divisions. Despite encountering severe emotional and financial challenges, the students united to support one another through speech and debate, posting a truly Olympic performance that now culminates in the madness of a March national championship. 

Hal Sanford, Director of Forensics, states, “Capturing an unprecedented national title during the 100th Anniversary of our beloved college is truly magic. It underscores how special and privileged we all are to be part of our students’ lives, to behold their personal journey. Competitive critical thinking and public speaking under time pressure are not for everybody, but I have been blessed to witness students select a personal evolution that reflects their wishes and furthers their chosen life path. Sometimes, in the moment, their course may seem unclear, but wisdom and time often connect seemingly disparate dots into a masterpiece, a beautiful and meaningful life.”