At first-ever virtual tournament, debate team advances to quarterfinals


Grace Holleb, Reporter

For the first time ever, members of the debate team competed in a virtual tournament, where freshman Sara Kumar and sophomore Aaron Kim advanced to the quarterfinals in the Georgetown Spring Debate Tournament on April 3-5. 

The debate was conducted on Zoom and used Georegtown’s website to operate in separate Zoom windows named after Georgetown buildings. Prior to the tournament, each participant received a text explaining which building and corresponding room to log into. Every room contained both sets of partners and opponents along with one judge. Each debate lasted about two and a half hours.

“It’s harder to work with your partner,” Sara said. “When you’re online, you can’t talk to them face-to-face, so you have to resort to text messaging or Google documents.” 

According to Sara, who usually competes in the novice division, working with a new partner and in a different division and setting made the tournament fun and interesting. 

During the remote learning period, the debate team has continued practices every other week via Google Hangouts and Zoom, and members have begun to focus on next year’s topics. 

Sara said, “It definitely is different, but we’re still operating with a similar schedule as we would have if we were in school.”