A large audience of students laughed, cheered and stomped loudly at the Contra Costa College Speech and Drama Night in the Knox Center on March 29.
The annual speaker showcase highlighted the diverse talents of the college’s speech and debate team.
Speakers Sara Perez and Arturo Leon stole the show with their comical and dramatic interpretation of two teens in an abusive relationship.
“My hope is that people learn to realize the cycles and to take the initiative and ask themselves, ‘Am I in an abusive relationship?’” Perez said. “I know a lot of people who have been in mentally abusive relationships.”
The oration touched the audience.
“I think it’s something everyone in the audience can relate to some way because most people know someone in, or they themselves have experienced, an abusive relationship,” psychology major Amy Hung said.
The evening began with Leon’s award-winning informative speech on the resourcefulness of an atmospheric water generator.
“I came across this topic by mistake, but as I started to dig into the topic it was just interesting how it relates to our current water concern,” Leon said.
Some of the performers tried to outshine others with presentations that kept the audience intrigued and attentive.
Anjelica Silva performed a communication analysis on the stereotypes found in some beauty product commercials targeting African-American and Latinas, and the differences of those targeting Caucasian women.
Silva included some risky humor about race by portraying Latinas and African-American women and imitating their stereotypical attributes, which brought laughs as well as serious faces.
“I think the audience thought it was funny, but hesitated to laugh because it might offend other races,” Silva said. “It was hard to cross that boundary with this speech because it’s taboo to incorporate ethnicity and racism.”
The last event of the evening was the parliamentary debate demonstration on whether electronic communication is good or bad for society.
Debaters Michele Escalada and Aeriel Silva took the opposing side stating that inappropriate use of electronic communication led to cyberbullying, invasion of privacy, and cyberstalking.
“Imagine if your personal photos and messages got into the wrong hands,” Silva said. “Technology, although useful, can bring a lot of headaches.”
Curtis Hulen and Patrick Yarnold took on the positives of electronic communication, but were often interrupted by the loud screams of an unruly audience. Hulen had to pause a few times to let the audience settle down and hear his argument.
Nevertheless, Hulen and Yarnold won the debate.
Yarnold, an accounting major and first-year debater, said he wasn’t fazed by the loud reaction of the crowd but that it made the debate more exciting.
“They paid good money to come see us perform and the audience’s reaction is part of the performance,” Yarnold said.