Freshmen Gather at Novice Crash Course

By Ruhee Nemawarkar, Heritage Editor in Chief

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  • CX Novice Coordinator Jeffrey You ’20 lays out the structure of a regular Policy (CX) Debate round. Photo courtesy of WHS Speech and Debate.

    Photo By Bernice Chen

  • Explaining the basics of Policy (CX) Debate, Debate President Daniel Shi ’20 talks about this year’s topic. Photo courtesy of WHS Speech and Debate.

    Photo By Bernice Chen

  • While talking about Extemporaneous Speaking, Debate Treasurer Rishob Dasgupta ’20 discusses the benefits of participating in the event. Photo courtesy of WHS Speech and Debate.

    Photo By Bernice Chen

  • To introduce herself, Davina Le ’20 tells why she joined the Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate event.

    Photo By Bernice Chen

  • To give a demonstration of Extemporaneous Speaking, EX Captain Anurima Mummaneni ’20 gives a speech. Photo courtesy of WHS Speech and Debate.

    Photo By Bernice Chen

  • At the beginning of the Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate crash course session, LD Novice Coordinator Alice Zhang ’20 describes the event. Photo courtesy of WHS Speech and Debate.

    Photo By Bernice Chen

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To inform incoming freshmen about the different debate events, the Speech and Debate team held a novice crash course on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Debaters from each of the four different events presented information about the individual types of debate, advertising what they do to get novices to join their event.

“Novice crash course is a really good time to meet the future of debate,” Debate President Daniel Shi ‘20 said. “It was also really fun talking about the benefits of policy debate.”

The Policy (CX) Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking events were the first to present to the novices. The varsity members spoke about the skills and the different types of concepts included in their respective events. The policy debaters also spoke about the year’s arms sales topic that is influenced by current events and debates in the government about arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. The group participated in an activity about whether the US should reduce arms sales. 

“[To prepare] I tried to think about what made policy debate, policy debate,” CX Novice Coordinator Jeffrey You ‘20 said. “I thought about the good and the bad, and I tried to present that as accurately as possible in order to attract people that would be a good fit for this event.”

The Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate and the Public Forum (PF) Debate events presented next, and had similar activities. Since LD debate is centered around morality, the varsity members had an introduction to the event with the trolley problem, a situation that questions morals behind decisions. Varsity members also spoke about the reason they joined each event to show the novices why they should choose an event.

“It was a really great place to teach novices about the specifics of each event including my event- LD,” Pranav Medikonduru ‘22 said. “It was an effective way to get them to join our event.”

Overall, the events’ members were able to effectively persuade and inform the novices about the different types of debate. 

“Since I was in the same position as the novices last year it was really cool seeing them go through this tradition,” Katherine Yan ‘22 said. “It was exciting to see what they can offer to the debate program.”

The next local tournament that some of the novices will be attending is the Lake Travis High School Tournament on Friday, Sept. 20 to Saturday, Sept. 21.

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