by Leah C. Sahagun
Through the leadership of Chris Medina, director of speech and debate, and Ian Lising, new assistant director of speech and debate, the University of La Verne debate team won many competitions this semester.
Lising earned a political science degree at Ateneo De Manila University in the Philippines.
“Initially I wanted to be a lawyer, but my vocation was to be a teacher and debate is a happy medium,” Lising said.
Lising’s expertise is in the international style of debate. “That is why I was hired by Chris Medina, who is an expert in individual events,” he said.
While teaching in the Philippines, Lising was not compensated for taking on the responsibility of coaching the debate team for five years.
Lising brings numerous experiences and skills to ULV as a debater and educator in six world championships. In 1997, he also took third place in the world championships for stand- up comedy.
When Medina went with junior Sean Krispinsky and senior Justin Jones-Rodriguez to compete in the 19th World Debate Championships in Manila, Lising was the director of the event.
“At that time I had been coaching debate in college for nine years and I really wanted a change of pace. Medina and I kind of found each other there,” Lising said.
In the beginning of the semester, Lising began work as assistant debate coach at ULV.
“People are wonderful, warm, and friendly. I work with great people with a lot of potential for the future,” Lising said.
“Honestly he is one of the most amazing people I have ever met,” said Jones-Rodriguez.
From Oct. 15-17, the ULV debate team participated in the Aztec Invitational at San Diego State University.
At the competition, Ryan Knowles, a sophomore, won best speaker; second went to Jones-Rodriguez; third went to Krispinsky; followed by junior Ernie Minner who came in fifth and junior Stefan Chacon who took the 10th position.
At the Aztec Invitational, the debate team closed out the parliamentary debate competition. During the semi-finals, there were three ULV teams and one team from USC. USC lost and ULV took home first, second and third places.
Between Nov. 19-21 half the team will compete in the Epicenter Classics at Cal State Northridge and the other half will travel to a competition in Oxford, England.
“It’s very intense, the most tiring thing that I have ever done. It demands great involvement,” Alexandre Heully, BCA student, said.
Heully added, “The debate team is very good, we are recognized nationally and internationally.”
“We have the potential to be the best in the world. They work very diligently and they have strong character. We have grown since last year. Unlike the Philippines, the administration is supportive of the debate program,” said Lising.