Debate team prepares for districs

Stefania Pasetto, Reporter

During the weekend of January 27 and 28 in Cabot, Arkansas, the debate team will have a competition to practice for the districts. The students have worked hard to prepare for the upcoming tournament.

“We have been doing a lot of in-class work and the kids spend a lot of time outside of school working on this. They’ve mostly been working on argumentations, evidence, and research,” coach Joel Brown said.

The team has been practicing for a long time, debating and getting ready for their conferences. Their daily preparation has helped them develop new skills and gain more self confidence while they are debating. Because of the many topics from the different debates, the students learn more and more information and details about several specific themes.

“Working in teams helps me a lot, just to see other people’s perspectives and how they think about things. Seeing how they are going to argue helps me come back to my own case and see how it affects mine,” junior Andrew Wiederkehr said.

Depending on the competition, the students get to debate in teams or on their own. When they work in teams, they have to research together and practice debating with each other. On the other hand, kids that debate individually have the opportunity to express their own opinion, instead of that of the group. However, everyone has the same rules, which includes no cursing, avoiding verbal fillers, and being courteous to the opponent.

“There are some schools that are not for the whole ‘being nice thing,’ but that is not what Har-Ber is about. We try to be nice to everyone while we debate,” sophomore Caleb Strickland said.

Each year the school is giving more and more support to the team. Even though the debate team is considered a club and the students don’t receive credits, the school still gives them resources to be competitive with other schools.

“I feel like this year the school is supporting us enough, also because we are hosting a tournament in February,” senior Yzl Godoy said.

The Har-Ber debate team is continuing to work on improvements to attend Nationals at the end of the season.