Chapter 4: Selecting a Topic

“Your campus, too, has many interesting and important stories waiting to be told. Go and find them. A great place to start is in your university library where units of ‘archives’ and ‘special collections’ are often housed. Of course check your library out virtually first. Who was your university’s first president? Who helped form the first Black Student Union? Who was the first female faculty member? Who are some famous alumni? Was the mascot always the same? What important event happened at a location on campus? How did the student newspaper editorialize about an important subject? You see where we’re going with this advice: what we can see and touch daily can offer an added importance and urgency to our speechmaking; moreover, in sharing an identity as a Seminole, a Buckeye, or even a Banana Slug (go U.C. Santa Cruz!), you share something very important. So go ahead: add a new layer to that identity.”