Genesis Barraza Gains New Perspectives through Debate By AnaChristina Arana

Club Ed: Genesis Barraza Gains New Perspectives through Debate

By AnaChristina Arana, Senior Communication Studies Major


Today’s Club Ed features Senior Communication Studies Major Genesis Barraza’s involvement in the debate team. In this interview, Genesis shares what students can gain from participating in the club.

Could you please describe the opportunities the debate team provides for students?

 Students engage in various types of public speaking through the debate team. Members participate in public debates and compete at intercollegiate tournaments at the novice, junior varsity, or varsity level. It also provides opportunities to participate in individual events, including persuasive speeches, impromptu speeches, and original oratory.


What is the structure of the events the team participates in?

 The team participates in three types of debates: policy, parliamentary, and Lincoln-Douglas. In policy debates, students are given one topic for the year to prepare arguments for different tournaments. For parliamentary and Lincoln-Douglas debates, they are given new topics each time. At each tournament, students debate in front of one judge for six rounds to determine their qualification for the semi-final and final rounds. If they qualify, they compete for majority vote among three judges.

The intercollegiate tournaments the team participates in each year are the Golden State Season Opener, Southwestern College Hannie Shaft Tournament, California State University Northridge (CSUN) Robert Barbera Invitational, Las Vegas Classic Invitational Collegiate Debate Tournament, Western Policy Debate Championship, and Division I Qualifier and Pacific Championship.


Why did you decide to join the debate team?

 I joined in October 2015 during my freshman year. I always had an interest in debate, but because my high school did not offer the program, I did not have the opportunity until coming to USF. I learned about the team from my public speaking professor, Orion Steele, who joked that I would be good at debate due to my persistence during a class discussion. I was intrigued, so I asked for the coach’s contact information and reached out. Now I participate in policy debate at the varsity level, with Steele as the current coach.


Could you please share a memorable experience you had as a member of the team?

 The best experience I had on the debate team was when my partner, Senior Nicolas Landeros, and I won our first tournament at the Western Policy Debate Championship on March 11, 2016, solidifying our move up from novice to junior varsity. Because we were in the top seed, we were selected to participate in a by-round, where we qualified for semi-finals. As semi-finals progressed, we became stronger and more confident. In the final round, Nicholas and I faced two students that defeated us at our first tournament. I felt both admiration and intimidation toward my opponents, so when my team won, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.



From left to right: Assistant Coach and Senior Graysen Stille, Senior Genesis Barraza, Senior Nicolas Landeros, and Coach Orion Steele pose with the plaque that Genesis and Nicholas earned for First Place Novice Division at the Western Policy Debate Championship Tournament 2016.

What might students gain from joining the debate team?

It provides new perspectives and transferrable skills. Debate allows students to improve their public speaking skills, which are essential in every profession. It changes the way an individual looks at the world by allowing them to see a clear breakdown of everyone’s ideas. It also helps individuals understand their own place in the world, as they start to recognize why they think the way they do.

Participating in debate helps you show up in the world. Curiosity is not necessarily encouraged in our upbringings, but debate helps us question why things are the way they are. As a person of color who was always shunned as the “sassy one” or the “smart mouth,” it validates my opinions and gives me room to express them.


How can students get involved in the debate team?

 We are a close-knit community consisting of 12 students, and we are always seeking new members and perspectives. Most members watch and practice with the team before participating in debates. Students interested in debate are encouraged to attend meetings and support the team, as we could always use a new set of eyes for our arguments.


The debate team meets on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. in Kalmanovitz Hall, Room 365. Students may contact the coach, Professor Orion Steele, at orion.steele@gmail.com or me at gbarraza@usfca.edu. To learn more about debate, I also recommend taking Steele’s course on Argumentation and Debate.


Club Ed: Alisha in "Hawaiian Ensemble"

I’ve been listening to the all-holiday-music-all-the-time radio station lately (oh yes, I love holiday music!) and I heard the Hawaiian Christmas Song the other day. I call it that because I am sure to completely misspell the actual name of the song. But you know the one I am referring to, right? In any case, hearing that song reminded me that it is time to profile Communication Studies major Alisha Leong and her involvement with USF’s Hawaiian Ensemble in today’s “Club Ed.” I asked Alisha to tell us about the club:

COMS major and Hawaiian dancer Alisha!

“University of San Francisco’s Hawaiian Ensemble is a hula performance based organization. We focus on preserving and sharing the Hawaiian culture through community. We welcome and encourage all USF students to participate. Dance experience is not required, in fact, most members start off as non-dancers. Hawaiian Ensemble performs year round for events within the school community as well as events outside of campus.”

The USF Hawaiian Ensemble

One of the Hawaiian Ensemble’s main events is coming up this Thursday, December 1st: Taste of Hawaii! The event will be held in the UC 4th floor lounge from 6:00-9:00 pm. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $12 at the door, and get you three hours of Hawaiian food and entertainment!

This event helps fundraise for the main event put on by the Hawaiian Ensemble: Ho’ike. This annual event is a showcase held once a year during the spring semester. All members of Hawaiian Ensemble participate in this two-hour performance. It showcases what the dancers have learned from the beginning of the school year. Dances range from the traditional hula, Tahitian, and Haka (performed by men). According to Alisha, “Ho’ike brings the community together as spectators and dancers share the aloha spirit!”

I asked Alisha to share why she became involved with the Hawaiian Ensemble: “I joined Hawaiian Ensemble last year (freshman year). When I moved to USF, I was thrilled to discover that there was a club like Hawaiian Ensemble because I had missed being able to dance. Hawaiian Ensemble gave me the opportunity to meet many new friends, learn more about the Hawaiian culture, and be involved in school activities. Everyone in the club is very welcoming and supportive- it feels like I have a second family.”

Dancers from a performance at Ho'ike

You can find out more about the Hawaiian Ensemble by e-mailing them at usfhawaiianensemble@gmail.com with the following information:

Name, Email Address, Cell #, Class Standing

You can also go to their dance class every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-8pm in UC 501.

Congratulations to Alisha and the rest of the Hawaiian Ensemble! I attended Ho’ike a few years ago and it was GREAT! The food is delicious and the dancers do an amazing job! I secretly have always wished I could be a hula dancer.

I’m waiting for everyone to stop laughing.

Still waiting.

In any case, seeing the Hawaiian Ensemble perform cemented in my mind that this will likely never happen for me, but it absolutely could for you! You don’t have to be a student from Hawaii or the Pacific Islands to join the Hawaiian Ensemble, so if you are interested, contact them for more information! Aloha!


Club Ed: Chrissy in "Delta Zeta"

Today’s “Club Ed” features Communication Studies major Chrissy Romero and her involvement with the Delta Zeta Sorority. I asked Chrissy to tell us about Delta Zeta and why she became involved.

COMS major and Delta Zeta member Chrissy

“Hello! My name is Chrissy and I am a junior Communication Major with a minor in Public Relations. I am also a member of Delta Zeta at USF. Our sorority is one of two social, Pan-Hellenic sororities on campus and has been here for around 20 years. As a sorority we have 4 pillars: scholarship, social, service, and sisterhood.

Scholarship is important because we want to be intelligent women. Our chapter has a cumulative gpa of 3.2-3.4 which is one of the highest in our region. We require our new members to complete study hours so they are able to do their homework with their pledge class and get work done while bonding. Socials are ways we reward ourselves for our hard work! They let us let loose and have fun and give us a chance to show people a more fun side of Delta Zeta. Because we do not have a house like other sororities at other schools, we throw our socials at clubs that we rent out. In spring, we have two informal socials that are themed and anyone can come to them. We also have two socials in the fall but one is informal and the other is a formal social where the girls can bring a date if they wish. Service is very important to this specific chapter of Delta Zeta because we are very passionate about giving back. Our national philanthropy supports the hearing and speech impaired. In the fall we have an event called ‘Ali’s Way’ which is a banquet for a sister we had who passed away a couple of years ago from leukemia. The money we raise from this event goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In the spring we have what we call the teter-toter-a-thon where we teter-toter in the middle of school for 48 hours straight in order to fundraise for the Hearing and Speech center of Northern California. Lastly, Sisterhood is the most important in my opinion so we do 2 activities a semester together. In the past we have gone to Giants games, Jelly Belly factory, Alcatraz tour, and more! These are paid for with our dues and it’s a fun time for us sisters to bond. I am the social chair in our sorority because I love planning events and thinking of the themes.”

Delta Zeta sisters... can you spot the COMS majors?

Chrissy planned their most recent social, which was on September 22nd at Rouge Nightclub. The theme was “With a D and a Z” which means people had to come dressed as anything that starts with a D or a Z! Hmmm… costumes that start with a D or a Z… Doctor, Dentist, Dynamite stick, Dandelion, Zebra, Zipper, Zookeeper…

I also asked Chrissy why she likes being in Delta Zeta: “Delta Zeta has given me the strength to lead because no one will let you fall. I rushed Spring of my freshman year because I had made friends but not friends that I felt were like me or made me feel like I could be myself. The second I got to Delta Zeta, it clicked that I had girls who actually cared about me and my well-being. It’s surely not for everyone, but for girls who are looking to make stronger connections and becoming well rounded women, its good to check it out.

You can like us on Facebook at Delta Zeta USF to hear about all our exciting events and be sure to look around school for flyers of our upcoming events and especially our socials!”

Thanks, Chrissy! By the way, our Communication Studies major is well-represented in Delta Zeta! You’ll see several women in your classes sporting DZ shirts and bags!


Club Ed: Corin and Michele in "PRSSA"

Today we are profiling two Communication Studies Department members and their involvement in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Senior Communication Studies major Corin Sanchez is currently President of PRSSA. Recent Communication Studies alum Michele Ewing served as Secretary of PRSSA last year. Many of our majors are members of PRSSA, and the club is in the midst of recruiting for new members, so I asked both Corin and Michele to share their experiences with us.

According to Corin, “PRSSA stands for Public Relations Student Society of America, and it is the largest pre-professional organization within the United States. It’s meant to bridge the gap between public relations professionals and students, so that students and professionals, can both gain some insight from one another. I joined PRSSA during my first semester at USF,  I was looking for a way to meet new people in addition to participating in something that involved my field of study. What I like most about PRSSA is that once you join, a lot of resources are available to you, and everyone is friendly. There are a lot of internship, networking, and scholarship opportunities that are available and if you take advantage of them, they can greatly benefit you.

PRSSA Chapter President Corin Sanchez

The reason I  became an officer was because I thought that it would be a good way to make a positive contribution to our USF chapter, and myself, along with the other board members are looking forward to making positive changes this year! So far we have had a lot of interest, and I can only hope that PRSSA will be a long standing academic society at USF.

Membership Requirements are stated in the following
1. Submit an application before the due date, September, 30. This can be submitted to the Communication Department office in K313, or to any one of us officers on campus.
2.In addition to the application, there is a $60 application fee. I know it may seem like a lot, but $50 goes to the PRSSA national chapter, and $10 goes to our USF chapter. Think of it as an investment :)!
3. Lastly, PRSSA is open to all majors, and we encourage people who are not communication,business, or marketing majors to join!

As far as this semester goes, we have an upcoming agency tour at Weber Shandwick along with two other agencies, and we’ll also have our induction ceremony that will include a guest speaker.”

I also asked alum Michele to share with us her experiences. Michele, along with the other officers, “were in charge of executing events that allowed our members to get involved, while still being beneficial to their career.  We did a service learning project, resume workshop, ‘Pizza with the Pros’ event, agency visit and holiday party.  My favorite event was probably the agency visit because we were able to see exactly what agencies looked like and what it was like to work there.

Recent grad Michele Ewing on graduation day!

I joined PRSSA in order to network with fellow Communication Studies students, PR professionals and also to add it to my resume.  From my research, a lot of companies like to see leadership experience on student’s resumes, so I felt that this was completely applicable to my career goals.  My Communication Studies courses have taught me how to communicate with a wide array of people and also taught me the basic fundamentals of Public Relations- two things that I believe are important in this field.  I have been working for a Law Firm for the past four years, so PRSSA has given me exposure to PR professionals that I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise.  I would recommend joining this club to anyone who is interested in Public Relations, but even more importantly would recommend students to go above and beyond and take up a leadership position with the club.”

You can find USF’s chapter of PRSSA on facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PRSSA-USF-Chapter/267952735163

You can find the application form in KA 313 or you can download it here: PRSSA_Membership_Application_Fall_2011-3

Thanks Corin and Michele! Remember, applications are due this Friday, September 30th!


Club Ed: Ajouni in "Campus Activities Board"

Check out how involved our Communication Studies majors are! Today we are profiling sophomore COMS major Ajouni Singh and her involvement with the Campus Activities Board (CAB). Fittingly for a COMS major, Ajouni serves as the Communications Director for CAB.

CAB Communications Director and COMS major Ajouni

I asked Ajouni to tell us more about CAB and why she got involved: “The Campus Activities Board is an organization on campus that plans and executes social, fun events on campus. We are behind events such as the annual Fall Fest concert, all of the dances and movie screenings, and the Carnival we hold in the spring! As Communications Director, I’m in charge of all forms of promotions! Over summer I designed the T-shirts, sunglasses, and brochures. Now that the year has begun, I keep up with the social media (Facebook and Twitter) and the USF website for CAB. I also help everyone else promote their events, and I’ve recently taken on Campus Movie Fest to help them with their promo as well!

I got involved with CAB last year because of my interest in simply getting involved, but I chose CAB specifically because I want to be an Event Planner eventually, and this is great practice for planning in the real world. It also coincides with my major well because it is all about working with people and understanding different team dynamics, and communicating with such a large range of people. Anyone can get involved in CAB by coming to our meetings every other Thursday in UC 402/403!”

CAB has several fun events coming up! Check them out:

Fall Fest tickets are on sale now for $10, and there’s a “Teach Me How To Dougie” competition in Gleeson Plaza on the 27th to win free tickets!

New this year is the Campus Movie Fest, which launches today! Here’s more information from Ajouni:

“CAB is bringing in a new and exciting company to campus to involve students in a new way. The program is called Campus Movie Fest, and it is the largest student film-festival in the country.”

You can find more information about the Campus Movie Fest here: http://www.usfca.edu/cab/cmf/

Basically, Campus Movie Fest is a student film festival where students are given one week to make a 5 minute film. Students are given all of the equipment you need to make a movie! How fun does that sound? There will even be a premier and a red carpet!

Here is a run down from Ajouni:

“September 21st TODAY!—LAUNCH DAY!!!!!!!!

  • Location UC 1st near book store. Student will receive their backpack.

September 22nd, 23rd, 26th

  •   Tech Support days.
  •  9/22 UC 1st floor at 11:30-3:30
  •   9/23 & 9/26th UC 415 at 11:30-3:30

September 27th—TURN IN DAY!

  •   Location: UC 1st floor

October 13th  Presentation!!!!

  • All USF student are welcomed to come to the event and watch all the short films. The winners will be announced.
  • Location: Presentation Theater in the Education Building
  • Time: Doors open at 7:30pm, movies start at 8:00 pm

This is a huge opportunity for students, as they will have the chance to be nationally recognized. Our school has put forth a lot of time and money towards this event, and we would like to see it blossom in its first year!”

Ajouni and the rest of the Campus Activities Board works hard throughout the year to bring you fun things to do on campus! You can follow them on twitter to stay updated here: https://twitter.com/#!/cabdons and fan them on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Cabdons

Thanks, Ajouni, for sharing your experiences! Ajouni is not only the Communications Director for CAB, but she is also involved in ASUSF Senate, the Events Coordinator for the Indian Student Organization, and a USF Ambassador! Congratulations, Ajouni!


Club Ed: Caroline in "ASUSF Senate"

Today’s “Club Ed” focuses on sophomore Communication Studies major Caroline Christ and her work as the Vice President of Mission for the Associated Students of the University of San Francisco Senate. Senate elections are being held this week, so it is a great time to profile Caroline’s involvement with this campus organization.

Caroline, ASUSF VP of Mission

“This is my first year on ASUSF Senate and I’m on the Executive Board as the Vice President of Mission. ASUSF Senate is the governing body of students at USF that advocate for student voices to be heard and carried forward, in order to inspire progress and promote positive change in the USF community. Senate has influenced positive change on campus and created many initiatives that have helped to enrich the experience of students. Students can thank Senate every time they use their Muni passes, have an overnight guest over, or study at 3 am in the atrium.

As the Vice President of Mission I act as the advocate for social justice issues and initiatives on campus as well as a liaison for student organizations. In my position I have the opportunity to highlight and create change around major issues such as: disability awareness, LGBTQ awareness, sustainability, community action, and so on. I’m very excited to be in this position and hope to affect change and fulfill the needs of the student body.

This week, September 19-22, is ASUSF Senate Week as well as Fall Elections. There will be activities taking place throughout the week where students can get free t-shirts, stickers, and baked goods for participating. Also, the Electoral Governing Board will be holding polling stations throughout campus each day where students can vote! Here is a list of the week’s events:

Monday September 19th- Cookie for a Concern in Lomo during lunch hour. Vote!!

Tuesday September 20th- Be heard at the Senate meeting from 6-8 p.m. in the UC 4th floor lounge. Free Senate t-shirts given away at this meeting! Vote!!

Wednesday September 21st- Baked Goods for a Concern in Market Cafe during lunch hour. Vote!!

Thursday September 22nd- Senate Elections Celebration at 6:30 in Crossroads! Free food will be available!

Check out all of the events this week for Senate Week and go out and vote!

“Friend” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/asusfsenate and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/Asusf_Senate

Senate holds meetings every Tuesday from 6-8 pm in the UC 4th floor lounge. So come out and let your voice be heard!”

Thanks, Caroline, for sharing your involvement with this important student organization! Congratulations on your position!


Club Ed: Stacey in "USFtv"

Did you know that there are about 100 different student clubs that you can get involved in here at USF? For those of you who are new to the blog, this category, “Club Ed” is designed to highlight our majors who are involved in these different clubs and how you can get involved in them too. I was quite pleased with the name, until I was told that the cafeteria in the School of Education was also called Club Ed. But that’s okay. I still like it. (You get it, right?). Anyway, on to our first “Club Ed” for the semester! Today we are featuring junior Communication Studies major Stacey Johnston and her work with our campus TV station, USFtv!

COMS major and USFtv Submissions Coordinator and Commercial Producer Stacey

I asked Stacey to tell us about USFtv: “USFtv is a 100% student run television station that plays on-campus and online. We currently have producers specifically for Culture, News, Sports, and Talks but students can get involved in a number of ways. The best thing about USFtv is that if you have an idea and the determination to make it happen, we can make it work for you. Where else can you just walk in and a couple weeks later have your own scheduled show?!

No prior experience is needed because we have training sessions for those who don’t have experience with video. We always can use more help, and we have plenty of members who don’t mind teaching.”

This year Stacey serves on the executive board of USFtv. I asked her to tell us more about her position and how she got involved. “I applied to be on the E-Board last year, and this year I am the Submissions Coordinator and Commercial Producer. It’s a mouthful of a title, but basically my job as Submissions Coordinator is to find student films to screen every Friday at 8pm.  This allows for the broader USF community to see work being produced in classes and personal time that wouldn’t otherwise be put on USFtv. I also process New Show Proposals and help to find new members a job they like.

The Commercial Producer position is new this year and I take requests by other USF clubs/organizations to advertise or showcase what they do and what they’re about.  It serves as a way of building a connection with other clubs as well as a stronger presence within the USF community.”

Check out the USFtv programming schedule

Want to learn more about USFtv? Oh, let me count the ways…

You can find USFtv online here: www.USFtv.org or on Channel 35 on any campus TV
They have their own Youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/usftv?feature=mhee
You can contact Stacey with ideas here: stacey@usftv.org or team@usftv.org
You can also follow USFtv on Twitter: @usftv (I do!)
or of course facebook! http://www.facebook.com/pages/USFtv/125877690884

The USFtv Kickoff Party is Wednesday Sept. 21st from 8pm-10pm at UC 4th Floor Lounge.

YOu can also check out the USFtv Student Short Film Festival on Friday Nov 18th from 8pm-10pm at Kalmanovitz Hall Rooftop Garden.

Thanks, Stacey, for all of the info on USFtv! Congratulations on all of your hard work!


Club Ed: Lisa in "USF Voices"

It is no big secret that I love singing.  Unfortunately, I am one of those people who loves singing that other people don’t love listening to.  Not a good combination, I know. But what is a good combination?  Junior Communication Studies major Lisa Colasanti and USF Voices!  I asked Lisa to fill us in on her involvement with this club on campus.

“USF Voices is one of the choir groups on campus.  We do more contemporary and popular songs and medleys. For example I’ve done ‘Santa Baby,’ ‘Scarborough Fair,’ a Disney medley, ‘Cowboy Take Me Away,’ and a lot more.  There are five different groups: Voices, Women’s, Men’s, Jazz, and Six (an acapella group).  Any full time student at USF can join Voices; the other groups are by audition.”  I have to stop here.  You are all safe.  Per Lisa’s information, you have to be a student to join Voices, so my dreams of singing popular songs and pretending that I am actually a character on Glee are dashed.  Back to Lisa:

“I joined Voices my freshman year.  My parents told me to join clubs because it would help me make friends and feel less homesick.  This was the first club I joined.  I did choir in my high school and figured it would be a good idea to do something I was comfortable with and had a very good background in (my high school even recorded a CD for a Canadian composer).  I felt like I was really in my element with Voices.  I also joined Women’s as well because for two years in high school I sang in an all girls choir and I really like singing with just women, it has a different feel to it and I personally find it easier.  It’s easier to get lost and lose your part in a traditional mixed voices choir.  In a women’s choir I can always hear the other altos so I can always tune my voice back up if I ever get lost and lose my part.

Lisa posing by crashing waves... I wonder what song she is singing?

One of my favorite moments with Voices was our 2008 Fall Concert.  It was my first concert with USF Voices.  In Women’s we were doing ‘Santa Baby’ and in a moment of complete insanity I decided to audition for a solo during one of our rehearsals.  I ended up getting the solo.  It was one of the most terrifying and proud moments I’ve had.  I always like being on stage but I never thought my voice was very good and NEVER auditioned or attempted any solos, unless it was a lead role in a play.  I was really proud of myself that I went through with auditioning and actually being able to sing the notes when it came time.  It really helped build my confidence in myself.

Just the simple act of joining Voices was really very beneficial to me.  I’m a very shy person.  I was actually in my freshman seminar on opera when my professor, one of the heads of the music department, told us about a “voice profile” that was going on that night.  She encouraged me to go to help me meet new people.  It was very scary to me because it was almost like an audition.  All of the choir directors were there.  They were all very nice and told me it was just to see what your range was and to decide if they thought you would be a good fit for their choir, but you could join any of them regardless.  After going through with it and actually going to rehearsals I started to get over a little bit of my shyness.  My first rehearsal I actually made friends and everyone was really nice.  I actually met one of my best friends through Voices.

Voices has definitely been a great part of my USF experience, and I plan to continue it until I graduate next year.  It always helps me relax and its always a fun and inviting atmosphere.

Also our Spring Concert is on May 12th, at 7 in Presentation Theatre. It’s free!!!”

Congratulations, Lisa, on your involvement in this great club!  Lisa’s advice is absolutely correct: One of the best way to feel connected to USF is to join clubs and meet other students who share your same interests.  There are almost 100 student clubs on campus, so, as I’ve mentioned before, there is bound to be one in your interest area.

As Lisa mentioned, the USF Voices Spring Concert is this Thursday, May 12th at 7:00 pm in Presentation Theater. Admission is free and there is a reception to follow.  If you need a break from studying, go and support USF Voices!