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Power of Persuasion

Oral Communication students compete in the Spring 2017 Public Speaking Showcase

Marcela Valdivia, Staff Reporter

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On Wednesday, May 3, the Spring 2017 Public Speaking Showcase was held at the Golden Eagle. Out of 1,500 students in Oral Communication, only eight finalists were selected to present their persuasive speeches to judges and attendees.  

Kristina Ruiz-Mesa, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Oral Communication Program, emphasized the importance communication skills play in the lives of individuals.

“The Oral Communication, COMM 1110, course here at Cal State LA is designed to help students from all departments across campus to refine their oral communication skills and critical thinking skills,” said Dr. Ruiz-Mesa.

Oral Communication students have had three speech presentations in their classes: personal purpose, informative, and persuasive. The judges were President William Covino, Dean of the University Library, Carlos Rodriguez, and Vice Provost for Planning and Budget, Amy Bippus.

Michelle Mora, Child Development major, talked about how the statute of limitation rises problems in the amount of sexual assault cases and number of unreported assaults. The causes behind why this law is in place  points to unreliable evidence and unreliable memories. Michelle Mora offers the solution by  raising awareness of  shared  stories and removing the statute of limitation.

Jocelyn Renteria, Sociology major, presented “Free the Nipple” to highlight the double standards in how men and women’s bodies are viewed. In the case of women, they are expected to cover their nipples when breastfeeding. She stated the cause to this taboo subject is  due to social media censoring. Therefore, she offers the idea to change social media regulation to change the perspective people have on this issue.

“Baring our chests can pave the way slowly to things like gender equality,” said Renteria.

Hannah Johnston, Anthropology major, focused on political polarization. She addressed that politics have  led to unfriending people simply for  who they voted for in the 2016 presidential election. This political polarization occurs due to bias media channels forcing   people to not listen to newer information. To better handle politics at Cal State LA, Hannah Johnston suggested colleges to hire professors of all political beliefs and have more discussion on campus.

“We have become like sports teams- one party against the other,” said Johnston.

Giselle Morales, Biochemistry major, spoke on why DACA and DAPA programs should not be removed under Trump’s presidency. She emphasized how having these programs reflects America’s pride for equality and inclusion. Moreover, individuals have proven to be worthy of these programs. Also, Giselle Mora mentioned how these programs have benefitted the United States economically.

“It is necessary for us to make these programs permanent because not only do we as a free country stand for inclusion, we also stand to support those who better our country as a whole,”  said Morales.

Bianca Diaz, Business Administration major, presented the dangers of texting and driving. This problem continues to grow into an epidemic as more people engage in sending insignificant messages while driving. She expressed the importance to keep your eyes on the road, keep your phone out of reach, and to avoid distractions. The easiest solutions she offered was to keep your phone out of sight and in silence in order to be an example for others.

“It is really crazy how the popularity of mobile devices has increased the [amount] of deaths and  [amount of] injuries that occur in society,” said Bianca Diaz.

Justin Castellanos, Political Science major, aimed to persuade attendees that gentrification is not the solution in fixing impoverished neighborhoods. He highlighted how rent in these neighborhood increase, which creates a division in class. He mentioned that the causes of gentrification arise by displacement of  people unable  to afford to live in their homes. As a solution, he suggested to support small businesses and to  offer opportunities for people to build their businesses.

Cody Chang, Business Marketing major, presented  on high schools failing to teach students life skills. Causes of  this issue is the fear of changing the education system and loss of money. His solution to fix this problem is to focus funds on classes that teach students life skills that should be mandatory  for them  to graduate.

Jordan Smith, Business Administration and Marketing major, spoke about education inequity to emphasize  the 30,316,157 children living in low income households who encounter obstacles in their access to education. The problems of education inequity arise from economic school budget cuts. The causes to this is low income and dysfunctional households. To solve this problem, Smith mentioned that at an individual level we can elect officials who profoundly care and know about our education. At a societal level, there should be a program that will provide service learning opportunities for students in low income communities which  offers free tutoring and lessons on adult skills.

All eight finalists received a plaque with the Cal State LA logo and two scholarships from Wells Fargo and Barnes & Noble, and a 100% on the final. In third place was “Education Inequity” by Jordan Smith. In second was “Why We Should Keep DACA and DAPA?” by Giselle Morales. And winning first place was Hannah Johnston with “Political Polarization.”

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Power of Persuasion