Santaluces Chiefs Debate Team


Christopher Vargas , Entertainment editor

Our very own Santaluces Debate Team placed 3rd in the Student Congress tournament Sept 22. It is the first of many tournaments to come this year. Placing high in Student Congress is not as easy as it seems. Student Congress tournaments tend to run like this:

Before the tournament begins, each school participating should to make their own bill, though its not mandatory, to be submitted. These bills can range from banning hydraulic fracking, to legalizing the sale of human organs. There are a variety of categories that can be chosen from. After everyone submits their bill, the bills are put together and sent to every coach at every school, then the speech writing begins.

For each bill listed in the tournament, debaters are given a choice: to go in affirmation (support) or negation (against) of the bills. And speeches have to be written in the form of an essay, with sources supporting your side while diminishing the opposing side, your teammates can help with writing one.

Cross examination is debate talk for the questioning period. It is the most unpredictable and stressful part of any debate event. Some have felt as those 2 minutes of cross examination are the longest minutes of your life, so it is crucial to stay on your toes and be ready for whatever is presented next.

“It’s stressful but exhilarating as well.” stated Narrissa, a first year debate member.

On the actual day of the tournament you have to dress your best, arrive by 7 a.m, and get into the host school’s cafeteria you’ll find a sea of debaters doing last minute research and practicing their speeches. The downtime before the tournament starts can be compared to the phrase ‘the calm before the storm’. The debate team’s very own member gave her opinion on the downtime.

“It was frightening because everyone was hard at work preparing for their speeches, they also looked intimidating in their suits.” voiced Sarah Winters.

After the countless speeches and endless crossfire questions, the judges end the tournament at 2 p.m. After hours of debating and waiting for the judges to finish grading you get to see the fruit of your labor in the form of placing. It’s amazing to be able to place, it’s a team effort even though individual debaters get placed. With the work and preparation that goes into the speeches and finding out in the end that at least one chief debater had won makes everyone on the team feel like they have all won as they have worked as a team to win tournaments together.