The philosophy at Velásquez Academy is that communications is an art form best utilized to move people to action in the name of a common good. We do not believe in “sophistry,” which Socrates described as the rhetorical maneuver of making the weaker argument seem the stronger. We eschew such dubious gamesmanship. Instead of stooping to evil or tortured logic to win, we prefer to creatively find a moral and plausible inspiration for the advocacy of any given contention. We do not subscribe to rule circumvention, where the student violates the spirit of a rule, or simply parrots the words of the coach, in what amounts to a disservice to the student, his/her opponent and the practice of forensics.
Since we stress originality and fair play, Velásquez students will leave significantly steeped in knowledge of communications theory: how arguments are effectively structured, substantiated, presented; how performance can be a transcendent act (which has improved society in the past), and how the earnest search for truth bears the fruit of epiphany: those goose bump moments where the truth or justice one has connected with causes everyone to feel lifted and enlisted for having borne witness to it.
Velásquez Academy spends time teaching the “science” of communications, but truth and art are always our ultimate goals. We win many awards due to our compelling perfromances, but our Grand Plan is about instilling lifelong practices and insights, not winning nominal trinkets for their own sake. Velásquez Academy firmly believes in oratory undertaken to free, inform and inspire, not hurt, delude or oppress.
[last edited 5/29/17]