Speech & Debate

Speak Up…Stand Out.  Competing in what is commonly referred to as “forensics,” the Los Rios Speech & Debate Team has earned significant recognition in the circuit by winning awards in various public speaking events alongside 4-year universities such as UC Berkeley, CSU Long Beach, and the University of the Pacific.

Why Get Involved?

Strong oral and written communication abilities are two of the top skills employers look for in potential candidates, regardless of educational background. Speech and debate help students develop these skills, which are fundamental to both personal and academic success.  Research, critical thinking, and presentational aspects of speech and debate lead to further success in classes in other disciplines such as political science, philosophy, and theater, to name a few.

Los Rios Speech & Debate Team alumni have transferred to prestigious four-year universities such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UOP, USC, Clemson, Columbia, Ball State, Pace University, and Sacramento State University.

What We Do

Policy Debate: Two-versus-two team debates designed to test sound logic and reasoning in domestic and international situations and philosophical ideologies

Platform Speeches: Informative or persuasive speeches authored by students on innovative and socially significant topics.

Interpretation of Literature: Prose, poetry, and dramatic literature is interpreted through an argument using verbal and nonverbal messages.  This can be done as an individual or in partnership with 2 or more people.

Join Our Team!

If you are a student of the Los Rios Community College District, you are eligible to join the team.  Through class lectures and practical hands-on laboratory, you will learn how to prepare platform speeches, debate, and interpret literature.  Other areas of interest include impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, reader’s theater, event coordination, and campaign development. We travel to tournaments at California colleges and universities, as well as national championships from coast to coast.

Class meetings are held Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at Sacramento City College.  Check the SCC class schedule for specific information.


Professor Kim Church, Director of Forensics

Professor Church brings a breadth and depth of experience in coaching oral interpretation of literature, platform events and debate. Under her direction, teams have competed at won numerous awards at regional and national competitions in platform speaking, oral interpretation, and debate.

“What really drives me is the amount of theoretical knowledge and practical application every student gets out of it.”

Our History

The Los Rios Speech & Debate Team was established in the 1970’s by merging existing speech and debate programs located within the Los Rios Community College District into one competitive entity. Since then, students and faculty from American River College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento City College, and Folsom Lake College have represented the Los Rios Speech & Debate Team as competitors and coaches in regional, statewide, and national tournaments.