Debate team excels in Pflugerville Tournament

Alaina Galasso, Opinions Editor

The debate team competed on Saturday in the Pflugerville Pfall Pfling Tournament. Alanna Anderson, Aryamaan Dhawal, Kelly Scalpati and Amar Srinivasan advanced to the quarter finals for novice Lincoln Douglas debate with Srinivasan advancing to the final round in finals. Those in finals for extemp speaking were Srinivasan, Karla Tujillo and Jake Painter with Ariana Engles, Caroline McKenzie and Alanna Anderson in semi-finals.

“I am very excited about our results,” debate sponsor Ms. Clearman said. “The team did a great job.”

The debate team has more than doubled in size this year. They have also added extemp speaking for the first time this year.

“We’ve got an awesome, motivated team this year,” junior and debate club historian Hannah Olsen said. “The officers are certain that we can break new grounds in debate, making it something that’s both respected and fun.”

In LD debate, a student goes up against an opponent from another school for three different rounds then wait to hear if they advanced. In extemporaneous speaking there is an initial round and depending on how someone ranks, they can advance to the semi-finals and later finals.

“Its all very intense,” junior and debate club president Ariana Engles said. “They are wonderful and exhilarating events.”

In extemp speaking the students receive 30 minutes to write a speech on the given topic about current events. The students gather data the team saved to a file to write a persuasive speech. The speaker is allowed one notecard to write on and use during their speech, which is between five and seven minutes long.

“Vandy did extremely well this weekend and I couldn’t be more proud to be president of this extraordinary team,” Engles said.

The event hired contract judges to make decisions on who won the debate rounds. The results are based on how professional the speaker was, how well they spoke, their case and their counter arguments.

“Debate is a great academic sport that has attracted future lawyers, actors, politicians and many more,” Ms. Clearman said. “It’s not too late to join us if you’re interested. Visit the Debate Team website for more information.”