MALCS Undergrad Rep Karina Avalos was one of five students from San Jose’s National Hispanic University who out-debated the “heavily favored” USC team to win the California state Ethics Bowl title and a berth in the national championships next week.
Columnist Joe Rodriguez at the Mercury News writes:
Avalos rips into her debate topic, the questionable ethics of Ryoei Saito, the Japanese businessman who paid a fortune for two masterpieces by Van Gogh and Renoir and then threatened to have the paintings cremated with him. He died and was cremated in 1996, leaving no trace of the Van Gogh.
Avalos’ confidence is etched on her determined face. Just two months ago, she and her debating teammates from tiny NHU in East San Jose defeated a heavily favored team from the University of Southern California to win the state Ethics Bowl title and a berth in the national championships next week.
Fearlessly, NHU will go up against 30 bigger regional champions, including perennial debating powers from the University of Washington, Indiana, Clemson and the Army and Naval academies.
Without looking at her notes or watch, the 22-year-old senior from the 600-student campus in East San Jose carefully builds her case against the “immoral and selfish” art collector. The masterpieces had acquired a “sense of common property,” she asserts. Saito bought them with company money, not his own, and then hid them from public view. Society must adopt regulations to protect masterworks from irresponsible buyers.
NHU is the small up-and-coming university (o ya llegado?) in East San Jose founded in 1981 by Dr. B. Roberto Cruz on the model of Historically Black Colleges; NHU is currently home to MALCS chair Adriana Ayala (Chair of Liberal Studies) and Chingona Cecilia Burciaga (provost), as well as Ms. Avalos and her chingona teammates….