July 17, 2024

San Antonio College Student News

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SAC Speech Team Earns Silver, Bronze Awards in National Tournament

speech team
SAC Speech Team members (left to right) Tabitha Hidalgo, Jada Valdez and Aleyna Chapa pose with their plaques following the awards banquet at the Phi Rho Pi National Speech Tournament in Reno, Nev. April 6. Photo by Justin Blacklock.

San Antonio College’s Speech Team earned Silver and Bronze Awards at the 2024 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Reno, Nevada, March 31 to April 6. 

Phi Rho Pi is the National Junior and Community College Forensic Association and Honor Society, and SAC’s team competed against more than 50 colleges, earning a Silver Award in the Individual Events Team Sweepstakes category and a Bronze Award in Overall Sweepstakes. 

Speech Team members Aleyna Chapa, Tabitha Hidalgo, and Jada Valdez competed in several individual categories, including Persuasive Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Informative Speaking, Speech to Entertain, and Poetry Interpretation. 

“Nationals is not just about competition; it’s also a celebration of achievement,” team captain Tabitha Hidalgo said. “It’s a chance for students to showcase their hard work and dedication and for coaches and supporters to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.”

Team Captain Tabitha Hidalgo performs her speech during "Night Before Nationals" in the Fiesta Room in the Loftin Student Center March 27. The showcase includes all platform speeches and interpretive performances the speech team has prepared to take to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament. Photo by Janelle Aleman.

Chapa advanced to the tournament’s semi-final round in Persuasive Speaking.

“It was shocking for me to advance because throughout the entire year I didn’t do well due to getting anxious at tournaments,” Chapa told SAC Student News. “It was nice to see my team be so supportive of me.”

This season, SAC’s team hosted two tournaments on campus, traveled to competitions at Tyler Junior College, Del Mar College and Texas State University, and competed in one online tournament. 

It was amazing getting the opportunity to improve my public speaking skills, work with such great people and hear other people’s individual stories and perspectives,” Freshman Jada Valdez said. “The work is rigorous but extremely rewarding, and I’m excited to continue learning from my peers.”

Aleyna Chapa performs her speech during "Night Before Nationals" in the Fiesta Room in the Loftin Student Center March 27. The showcase includes all platform speeches and interpretive performances the speech team has prepared to take to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament. Photo by Janelle Aleman.

To serve on SAC’s Speech Team, students must audition for one of the three to six spots on the team. The team competes against two-year and four-year colleges nationwide and is currently recruiting students who want to compete in any of the 13 speech events, including public speaking, interpretation, limited preparation, and debate.

Students interested in learning more and auditioning for the team can e-mail SAC Director of Forensics and speech team coach Justin Blacklock at jblacklock@alamo.edu.

“We are going to start working on new topics or speech ideas through the end of the semester and summer,” Blacklock told SAC Student News. “We will be working hard to ensure we are ready for competition and pushing toward next year’s national tournament.”

Jada Valdez performs her speech during "Night Before Nationals" in the Fiesta Room in the Loftin Student Center March 27. The showcase includes all platform speeches and interpretive performances the speech team has prepared to take to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament. Photo by Janelle Aleman.

The team will host the “Battle at the Alamo” speech tournament in October. It will include individual and debate events and will be one of the first opportunities for competitors to showcase their speeches for the upcoming season.

Phi Rho Pi’s National Tournament is set to take place in Norfolk, Virginia, next year. 

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Armani Martinez

Armani Martinez

Armani Martinez is a fronteriza and technologista from Brownsville, Texas. Martinez is a Radio, Television, and Broadcasting major. She is the Digital Editor for the SAC Student News and VP of the SAC Media Club. Outside of school, Martinez is the Interim Technology Manager at the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. She is driven to use digital media and technology as a tool for social change.
Armani Martinez

Armani Martinez

Armani Martinez is a fronteriza and technologista from Brownsville, Texas. Martinez is a Radio, Television, and Broadcasting major. She is the Digital Editor for the SAC Student News and VP of the SAC Media Club. Outside of school, Martinez is the Interim Technology Manager at the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. She is driven to use digital media and technology as a tool for social change.