Stacked Debate Team Compete as Champions

Jack Zhang ’14
EE Co-Editor-in-Cheif

You have one hour to prepare, go!” The debate team shuffled their notes, reviewed their given documents, and began to prepare an argument. The team, split up in pairs had to debate the topic: “Should Russia try back its former colonies?”
The only difference was the panel of judges threw a twist in the whole ordeal: the debate team members must only debate as if they were Russian citizens. This meant points like “National Sovreignty” were moot.

According to debate team member Aravind Sureshbabu, “It was difficult to argue on the negative side, without sounding anti-nationalistic. Despite this we did very well. The competition at states was at a new level and a great new exerience.

The debate team worked hard to get to this spot. Competing States members had to win 2 3-0 competitions (where they win all 3 rounds) at 2 different competitions or win a trophy.
During the debate tournament, they start by debating the positive or negative side of the topic, then switch, and the last round consistts of them debating one of those again, with greater preparation, by the flip of a coin.
Among some of the reognition includes Michael Grischuk who earned the 5th best speaker in the state, Aravind Sureshbabu who earned 8th best speaker in the state, Emma Thornon, Ben Hazen, and Michael Kenler all won 2 out of their 3 matches at their state competition.

“This year the debate team was primarily composed of really strong underclassmen. We haven’t said that many representatives to States [or any at all] in the past several year’s in debate’s team’s history.”
This year consists of only one member in the Varsity division – Grischuk, the rest participating in the novice division.
Thornton adds, “ I started debate this year because my friends got me to go to a meeting and thought I would like it. The meetings were actualyl really fun and on interesting topics. I love debate because it allows you find your opinion and keep a cool exterior against the opponent.”

When asked about the best part of the debate, Thornton responds “It’s definitely when they call your name when you’re at the podium and all things magically down in one sentence that dooms your opponent’s argument and thing ‘How did I do that?’

According to Grischuk, “The debate team is awesome club that’s often overlooked over organizations like Mock Trial and BICEN, however debate team is much more fast paced and slightly less preparation-intensive, than either of those since most of the preparation happens at the competition. It’s something everyone should try at least once.”

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