Debate team competes at three tournaments, deals with challenges of virtual setting


Charlotte Henderson

The junior varsity and novice debate teams end their competition season and work on preparing for next year’s topic on water resource protections.

Krishita Dutta, City Life Editor

The varsity, junior varsity and novice debate teams have received mixed results across three recent tournaments.

The three teams competed at the Glenbrook South debate Nov. 21-23, where sophomores Sara Kumar and Serena Thomas earned second place in the junior varsity division with a record of 6-3. 

The University of Michigan debate was held from Nov. 5-7 and attended by varsity, junior varsity and novice teams. Sophomore Anika Gupta and ninth grader Cyrus Edmailzadeh received 61st place in the novice division with a record of 3-4. 

According to Anika, the experience was valuable but was interrupted by internet troubles several times, which ruined the flow of the debate.

The varsity and novice teams competed at the Iowa Caucus debate Oct. 30-Nov. 1, where juniors Aaron Kim and Brent Pennington had a preliminary record of 4-2 but lost 2-1 in the octafinals. 

While the online tournaments are a great way for Sara to continue building her debating skills, she believes that the social element of meeting other debaters in-person is still missing. 

“Making it to finals was really exciting, and it was great to debate people of my age, but I do miss in-person debates because it’s harder to get to know the other debaters online,” Sara said. 

However, members of the debate team such as Aaron and Anika believe that the platform Tabroom, which coordinates the debates and provides students with Zoom links, has helped students to stay organized when it comes to debating online.

Updated at 12:40 p.m. on Dec. 2: Cyrus Edmailzadeh’s last name was spelled incorrectly.