One of the most successful groups on campus is relatively unknown by a large population of the students at Saint Joe’s, The Villiger Speech and Debate Society.

A little background about this student-run organization is that the participants travel to competitions to compete in individual or group speeches or debates to improve their persuasive argumentation and quick thinking skills; it is exciting and adrenaline-inducing! Preparation for the debates or speeches requires numerous hours and dedication which makes these society members some of the brightest on campus. The next time you’re in Simpson Hall, take a detour from the Perch and check out the trophy case with all of the winnings from The Villiger Speech and Debate Society; it’s impressive! Some recent victories are mentioned in this article written about Bloomsburg University’s Pennsylvania Forensics Association (PFA) state championship.

Villiger Speech and Debate Meet in Simpson Hall | Photo taken by Rob Focht ’19

We interviewed two people in the organization to highlight their attributes and attitudes toward their passion for speech and debate.

Maura Flynn

Maura Flynn is a sophomore Biology major from Long Beach Island, New Jersey. She joined the speech and debate team when she was a freshman because she was looking for something new to be a part of. She stopped by The Villiger Speech and Debate Society table at the activities fair and was immediately drawn to the close-knit, family atmosphere that the members of the group share.

Flynn combines her love for science and speaking by discussing a program called Centering, which aids pregnant women of low socioeconomic classes to deliver healthier babies, reducing the risk of premature births and medical issues that can stem from childbirth. She also loves listening to persuasive arguments because she learns a lot from them and enjoys the problem-solving aspect. By being in this organization, Flynn hopes to grow as a speaker and become a quicker thinker.

Julian Lutz

Julian Lutz ’19 | Photo taken by Rob Focht ’19

Julian Lutz is from right in Philly and is a senior Political Science major here at Saint Joe’s. He has been involved with speech and debate since the seventh grade and was interested in continuing it in college. He walked on the team as a freshman and never looked back. He loves the history of success that the society holds and the team dynamic.

Lutz is passionate about politics and the political concepts behind it and finds ways to work it into his discussions in ways to connect and impact his audience. He is quick on his feet and loves impromptu speaking; he thinks that coming up with a speech in under two minutes is fun because it gives him a genuine adrenaline rush. In the upcoming season, all Lutz wants is for his team to mature and succeed as a team. Bringing a trophy or two back to Saint Joe’s would be nice as well!

The students that compete in debates and speeches for this society are passionate about the sport and are gaining valuable life skills that can be applied in many different ways now and later in life. The next tournament the society will compete in is this Saturday, Oct. 27th, 2018 at Seton Hall. To show them support and see how they do make sure to follow along on their Instagram account! 

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