Debating the Odds

     The winter season is finally here, which means that winter clubs and sports have started. One club that's kicking off their season is the Debate Club, and with the recent quarantine, it is going to be changed around from the usual way the club runs. However, this is not stopping them from focusing on their main goals from previous years.

     “The Debate Team is a student organization that focuses on the basic principles of debate: Argument Construction, Case Development, Refutation or Rebuttal of Arguments, and Persuasive Speaking. Students how to properly argue and win any argument with logic and research,” sponsor Sylvania Hernandez said. 

     Debate is a beneficial club to join for students looking into broadening their horizons with their academic success and skills.

     “Students will learn the standards of debate and the valuable skills of argumentation that will assist them with their educational careers and beyond.  Learning to balance arguments, resist character assassination, and use emotion sparingly, makes students more articulate,” Hernandez said.

     Not only does this give students to participate in a club and get more involved after school, it gives them everyday skills that will better them in their regular academics and continuing onto college. The goal of the debate club is to enhance their critical thinking skills, their teamwork abilities and organization. However, with the quarantine everyone is going on, people are starting to wonder how the club is going to continue. 

     “Everything is now online, which makes practicing and debating a little more challenging. Although there are some debate tournaments being held via Zoom, there are very few tournaments this year to participate in. We were told by scientists that a second wave would hit in the fall, so I am not shocked, which is why we decided to hold all of our debate meetings via Zoom for now,” Hernandez said. 

Luckily, they were able to plan ahead for this sudden quarantine and via Zoom, they are able to continue their season while holding tournaments and practice online. While this is not the usual setup, they are still offered full functionality of what it would normally be like for the debate team. 

“In terms of tournaments, the format has changed to virtual this year, and we have not yet participated in a virtual meet yet. However, typical tournaments are on Saturdays.  Depending on the style of debate, individual students or partners will compete in four different rounds. Individual students can place and earn medals, and schools can also place and earn trophies,” said Hernandez. 

     Much like other clubs such as the Science Olympiad team, they are able to move to online and host tournaments there. Despite everything going on, they are pushing through and starting their season's journey. 

     “Most schools participate in and host speech only tournaments. I believe this is due to the commitment debate takes. Debate is no joke! Those who compete are fierce and a force to reckon with,” Hernandez said.