Debate Season Intensifies

Moeka and Reshma

It was time. After a month of frantic, assiduous preparation, on December 3, the debaters headed over to Saint Mary’s for the first practice debate to officially start the season.

 That night’s debate topic pitted science against ethics: “Human cloning should be banned”. The Varsity team, assigned to defend the negative side, argued that although reproductive human cloning may pose threats, the benefits outweigh the risks, for human cloning branches from stem cell research which is already recognized as beneficial. The negative side pointed out that therapeutic cloning can potentially eradicate the waiting lists for organ donations and save numerous lives. Although the Varsity team lost to ASIJ by 4 points, the team learned a lot from the constructive debate.

In round 2, the JV team defended the affirmative side and won. They argued that human cloning is still a very impractical theory (as it actually hasn’t been achieved yet) and convinced the audience that nature can be disrupted, supporting their theory with Social Darwinism and statistics for the low success rate of research. According to the judge, both teams were fantastic and demonstrated excellent potential.

Though the debaters were all fatigued, their debate frenzy for the month was far from over. In the course of the next week, they replenished and fueled themselves with the next debate topic: “A traditional college education is no longer necessary.” On December 10, four Varsity teams debated a total of four Varsity rounds and one JV round. Despite the shortage of time and the routine pre-debate hassle to finalize evidence and speeches, the teams managed to score a total of three wins out of the five debates, against teams from Seisen, ASIJ, and Yokota. Many members expressed that this debate topic was much more applicable to students’ lives, and therefore it was easier to develop deeper arguments.

Ms. Shull and Ms. Luttrell took part in adjudicating the debates on December 3 and December 10.

Yasmim(12), member of the team, summarised this year’s debate season so far, “Initially it was hard to adjust to the rules and regulations of the debate, because the guidelines varied according to the judge. But I felt that this motivated us to be more well-prepared.”

Bernice (12), also a member of the team, commented, “Debate allows you to step outside of your own boundaries. I was originally shy, but debate is unlike any other activity because you walk away feeling more confident and observing things from varied perspectives.”