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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC students speak about Y Generation

Speakers from the most “connected” generation in history will talk about whether living online is a blessing or a curse—all in the hopes of winning $500.

“Talkin’ About Y Generation” is the topic of the 27th Lancaster Speech Showcase, set for 7 p.m. on April 23 in the Fé Bland Forum. Students in the five public speaking classes are now competing for five finalists slots and the chance to deliver a five to seven minute speech to a panel of judges and the whole Fé Bland audience.

“It’s an opportunity for students to speak their opinions. It gives them that voice,” said Cameron Sublett, showcase director who also teaches public speaking at City College. “At the same time, we as audience members get inspired, and we benefit from them sharing their thoughts.”

The Lancaster Speech Showcase, funded by prominent Santa Barbara resident Louis Lancaster in the mid-eighties, is a public speaking competition between five select City College students with cash prizes to promote student debate.

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First place prize is $500, second place is $300, and third place is $200. Fourth and fifth place will receive $100 each.

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider is one of the judges who will help pick the winner.

The Y Generation; anyone born in the mid to late 1980s, is widely considered the most connected generation because they’ve grown up around the Internet, cell phones, and other technologically advanced gadgets. Some people view this as a positive and others as a negative.

Students will be asked to take a stand on the debate and present a speech.

The five students participating in the competition have yet to be chosen, as the preliminary rounds haven’t occurred yet.

It used to be that any student could write a speech and present it in the semi-final round. Then, depending on how good they were, had the chance to speak at the showcase.

Now, finalists are chosen from the COMM 131—“Fundamentals of Public Speaking”—classes. Students are required to write a speech as an assignment, and the classes then votes and pick 10 students with the best speeches to advance into the semi-final round.  Professors judge and select the five finalists.

Sublett explained that although students are often nervous to speak in front of an audience of more than 150 people, the sense of accomplishment they feel afterwards could be a life-changing experience.

“It really does have a fundamental impact on the students that participate,” Sublett said. “They realize that they’re smart and that they have things to say. I think that’s what’s so cool about it. It gives them [the students] a cogent opportunity to realize their potential.”

Raffles will be held while the judges deliberate, and gift certificates to various establishments will be given out to those lucky to win.

Admission is free and the event is open to the campus. However, seating is limited, and it is recommended to arrive early to guarantee you a seat in the audience.

This event is funded and made possible by the Lancaster Fund, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, and the Foundation for SBCC.

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