Welcome to the Fighting Smelt Speech & Debate Team!

For over 50 years, Lower Columbia College has had a strong and successful Speech and Debate team. We take pride in our legacy and the generations of leaders who have come from our program. LCC Speech & Debate has been named a Silver or Gold Medal community college program in the Northwest Forensics Conference (representing Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Alaska) in five consecutive seasons. Our team is competitive on the regional and national stage. 

Our team is also a chapter of the honor organization Phi Rho Pi - the national forensics association for two-year colleges.

What is Speech & Debate?

Our team travels to regional and national tournaments where student competitors go head to head with speakers and debaters from other schools. Our team members participate in a variety of activities, and there is a competition event for every interest:

  • Debate – we focus on IPDA, a public one-on-one style of public debate
  • Limited Prep – including Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Interpretation – including Prose, Drama, and Poetry interpretation
  • Public Address – including Informative and Persuasive Speaking

Competitors learn and practice a variety of critical thinking, analytical, and public speaking skills. We strive to provide a rigorous intellectual experience for students that will be meaningful regardless of past experiences or future aspirations. 

Earn Credit for Participating

Through the 2-credit CMST courses “Competitive Public Speaking” and “Intercollegiate Debate, team members earn useful academic credits for participating.

Not interested in college credits? No problem. Any LCC student can participate without signing up for credits.

Debate Team Members

  Meeting Schedule

We have team practices on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30pm during Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Practices are sometimes virtual and sometimes face-to-face.

Face-to-face practices will take place in Rose Center for the Arts (RCA) 141.

Virtual practices will take place on Zoom. Join our practice here:


Meeting ID: 575 662 9462


How do I join?

Because of our team's busy competition schedule and the diverse needs of students, our team is occasionally meeting both in-person and virtually. Due to the unpredictability of our meeting modality, the best way to join the team is by contacting Alex Brehm, Director of Forensics, via email. Alex's contact information is listed below.

All LCC students in good standing are welcome on our team. In recent years, our team has included a wide range of students, including Running Start, International students, adult learners, folks pursuing BAS degrees, high school completion, as well as “traditional” college students.

Mike Dugaw

Celebrating the Legacy of Mike “Sir” Dugaw

Mike Dugaw, who coached the LCC Fighting Smelt Speech and Debate team from 1973 to 2012, passed away on December 28, 2018. He built our program into a national contender and mentored countless competitors and coaches along the way. Read more about his legacy in this article from The Daily News.

The Dugaw Family, in collaboration with the Lower Columbia College Foundation and Speech and Debate Team, have established the Mike Dugaw Fighting Smelt Forensics Scholarship in his honor. This scholarship will support future generations of students who participate in speech and debate. To make a tax-deductible donation, please click the button below (choose “Other” from the “Use this donation for” dropdown and include "Mike Dugaw Fighting Smelt Scholarship" in the notes section).

Contact Speech & Debate


  Alex Brehm, Communication Studies Instructor

  (360) 442-2670