Debate Prepares for Upcoming Tournament


Sydney Jackson, Staff Writer

As the new semester of debate kicked in, the students prepared for their upcoming debate tournaments on Jan. 8 and 9 with help from their debate teacher, Leslie Ortiz.

A typical debate tournament takes about two days, depending on the students’ success in their previous rounds. How long each tournament is varies for each student. At some points, said Leslie Ortiz, debate teacher, it can last up to 15 hours; ranging from 8:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m.

“ It can last up to 2 days, depending on their success. And it can go from 8:00 a.m – 10:00 p.m.,” said Ortiz.

How they choose a topic to debate about can be from many ways. A student can create a topic, or the debate committee will assign a topic. A combination of both can take place where a group of students will come up with a topic and the debate committee can choose to permit it or not.

“ Sometimes a student will choose a topic, sometimes a committee chooses, sometimes a mixture of both happens; a group of students will create a topic and the committee can allow the topic, ” said Ortiz.

How the debate team prepares from their tournament has a lot to do with practice. Ortiz says her main way of teaching her students to prepare has to do with only three things; research, write, practice, repeat. A debater, senior Sachit Devavaj says a similar thing as well.

“On the content side, I do background research. And on the presentation side I practice speaking the way I would want to speak, ” says Devavaj.

The Debate team is going to two different schools for their tournament. They call it a swing competition; a swing competition is where students have double the opportunity to earn state points. The two schools they will be competing at are Dobie High School and Lake Creek High School. As expected, they did well, the team placed 2nd in World School Debate and Dramatic Interpretation.