Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Forensics team competes in Phi Rho Pi National Tournament

Denver, Colorado was invaded with nearly 400 college students from April 6-13, for the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament, 10 of whom were Rio Hondo students.

Rio Hondo students competed in a total of 14 events. Four debate teams were selected to participate consisting of: Felix Rodriguez, Andrew Perez, Daniel Ybarra, Juan Guerro, Chris Rodriguez, Caesar Sanchez, Jose Larios and Alex Cadena.

Rio had four students compete in individual events. Daniel Ybarra and Victor Wright competed in prose. Alex Cadena participated in impromptu speaking. Last, Rio Hondo’s returning Phi Rho Pi gold medalist, Steven Villescas, took four events to Denver: Persuasive, Speech to Entertain, Prose, and Program Oral Interpretation.

Rio Hondo competed against the best students from throughout the country. They proudly stood up for the voice of the minority against the nation.

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Even though none of the Rio Hondo students advanced into the medal rounds, the knowledge and experience taken from the event was irreplaceable.

Regardless of the outcome of Phi Rho Pi, the participation has a tremendous significance. Former forensic student Michael Moran completed two years at Phi Rho Pi without advancing in either year to the medal rounds. His experience from Phi Rho Pi helped him transfer into a prestigious forensic program at Bowling Green State University.

In Rio Hondo’s history, Villescas was the first student to take four events to Phi Rho Pi. “I feel proud of myself,” Villescas said, “It took a lot of growth and maturity”. Villescas is a prime example of the impact Phi Rho Pi has on student’s lives.

Students are only allowed to compete at Phi Rho Pi twice. This was Steven Villescas and Juan Guerro’s last competition.

“My debate career might be over,” said Guerro, who is currently running for Student Trustee, “but the fire started by debate, still burns on in my heart.”

This year’s Phi Rho Pi may have ended, but the change in the student’s lives that competed has only just begun.

Phi Rho Pi is the highest collegiate forensic tournament for community colleges. Colleges from all over the country participate in this tournament. It hosts numerous public speaking events, individual events and team events.

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