Debate Thrives in Competition

Tyler Olmo

The very beauty of the human condition is one’s ability to share different perspectives than those that surround them on the issues that one faces on a daily basis. This is the very idea that drives debate and allows for people of all walks of life to take part on the very world that surrounds us today. As of late, Tompkins’s Debate team has partaken in many competitions where they have exercised these very rights to not only explain their positions on the topics which face society today but also ultimately argue the own validity and veracity of their arguments.

“In debate, I have been doing two events: public forum and exempt.  Public forum is a two versus two debate and my partner is Saanika Halapeti. This last weekend, we went to Alief Elsik High School, where Saanika and I got 3rd place in the Public Form format,” said senior Debate member Guillermo Barbella.

Debate presents students with the rare opportunity to connect with various students that exceed even one’s own school district. For this reason, the competitions are diverse environments which allow students to meet others with drastically different views and discuss those views in a competitive, enriching environment. In particular, Barbella grew up in Venezuela, allowing him to have much different perspectives on issues than someone who was born and raised in Katy.

“In addition to the Public Forum, I also participate in the event known as Extemp. Extemp is a seven minute speech in which students have 30 minutes to prepare prior to the round. Topics covered in Extemp can range from long-standing national issues concerning the United States to current topics such as President Trump’s Second Year. Due to this, students are permitted to greatly enrich their knowledge of the events taking place in our country as we speak and to see the various views that others have on those particular subjects,” said Barbella.

As mentioned by Barbella, topics covered in Debate range in their overall themes, time periods and relevance, offering a unique experience which allows students to learn the necessities which are invaluable to those who aspire to be participating, knowledgeable members of society. This provides an invaluable experience as most social studies courses focus on the events of the past, yet many students miss out on the events which are plaguing our country right now. It is of the utmost importance that those who are in charge of shaping the future of society are exposed early and often to what will truly affect the coming generations.

“With every event, I feel more connected and knowledgeable about the world and the issues which face my generation for the years to come as we grow and graduate into true functioning members of society,” said Barbella.

The last debate competition was be Sept. 29 to 30.

Foreign Extemp:
1st – Siddhant Puranik
3rd – Anagha Tirumalai

Domestic Extemp:
2nd – Rehan Rupawalla **TFA State Qualified**
3rd – Saanika Halapeti

2nd – Elysia Wu

Informative Speaking:
3rd – Nicholas Khami

Dramatic Interpretation:
6th – Monica Nag

Public Forum Debate:
3rd – Guillermo Barbella & Saanika Halapeti

Congressional Debate:
8th – Rehan Rupawalla

Novic Extemp:
5th – Ike Chen

Novice Prose:
2nd – Varsha Natarajan