Debate team hosts season tournament


photo by Sacha Gilbert

Sophomores Emily Grossenbaugh and Roshna Cherugail practice their case work before the tournament. Grossenbaugh and Cherugail were partners in the public forum and received first place in the division.

On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Debate team held their annual season competition. This tournament marks the third competition of the year, however, it is the only competition hosted by the team itself.

The tournament consisted of multiple divisions, or forums, such as Declamation, Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas and Congress; all which were chosen by students depending on their interests and recommendations made by their team members. Although the competition’s participants were only novice debaters, varsity students took part by helping debate adviser, Julie Love, organize the event and by offering competitions advice to deliver a convincing argument.

“The captains were so great during practice, they gave me a lot of advice to perfect my speech,” sophomore Maitri Jajoo said. “They helped me with voice fluctuation, they told me where to walk, where to look and how to keep the judges interested.”   

During the award ceremony at the end of the tournament, Jajoo won first place award for novice Declamation, along with sophomores Emily Grossenbaugh and Roshna Cherugail who were awarded first place for public forums.

Before the tournament, Love, along with varsity debaters, had required Monday practice for two weeks for novices to attend as well as team meetings that discussed the tournament’s logistics.

The team also prepared the school to host the tournament by reserving rooms for the competition, sorting out competition ballots and meal tickets, as well as making signage to help prevent confusion along debaters.

An important part of preparation for the tournament was the collection of supplies needed for the concession stand and the judge lounge, which ensured all of those who attended has a good experience.

“[The competition’s goal was to] make sure students felt welcomed and secure at the school, and make sure competition went smoothly,” Love said. “[We expected] to have a great judge’s lounge for our judge parents who dedicate so much time to this event.”

During the tournament, the team held a fundraiser, SnapRaiser, selling drinks and food to raise money for future tournaments like the annual Harvard Invitation competition. Days prior to the event, the team collected items such as candy, chips, soda and cases of water to sell at the event.   

“The purpose was to host our annual tournament in order to help out local league and to raise money for our team. As a host school, not only do we provide students the opportunity to compete but we also help our school raise money,” Love said.

The debate team is scheduled to have three more away regular season tournaments and plans on attending to the annual Harvard Invitational and nationals.