Friday, December 16, 2016

Final Debate Tournament of the Semester

Round 5 Resolution

 Last weekend I had the opportunity to debate at Seattle University’s Seattle IV tournament as a member of the T.O.H. Karl Speech and Debate team (PLU’s debate team). Our team participates in British Parliamentary debate which is popular in the United States, Canada, and most of Europe. In this form, teams of two students are randomly assigned a position in the debate as Open Government, Opening Opposition, Closing Government, or Closing Opposition. If the team is on the government side, they will argue in proposition of the argument, meaning they agree with the resolution. Additionally, the opposition argues against the resolution.
              All teams are given the resolution 15 minutes before the debate will begin. The debaters cannot access any preparation materials except informational briefs that are printed before the round begins. At the end of the 15 minutes, the debate begins in front of three judges that decide 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in the debate between the Open Government, Opening Opposition, Closing Government, or Closing Opposition teams.
One resolution that was given at the Seattle IV was “This House regrets the narrative at United States citizens must ‘support the troops’”. My partner and I were on Opening Opposition for this round and were expected to argue that US citizens should be obligated to ‘support the troops’.
Award for 2nd place in the Novice Finals
Debate is exciting because the resolution can be torn apart and put back together to help your team win. Important words that need to be defined in this resolution are ‘must’, ‘support’ and ‘regrets’. If a citizen ‘must’ do something, what does that look like? Is the ‘support’ monetary? Or just emotional support? And does ‘regretting’ something mean wiping away the history that comes with ‘support for the troops’?
All of these questions were answered and debated within the round. The winning team is expected to be the partnership that best defined these questions, had the most interesting and powerful arguments, and accurately defended the other team’s arguments.
While my partner and I didn’t win this round, we ended up in the Finals Round of the Novice section. Novice means that a team is in their first year of debating in collegiate debate. In that final round we got 2nd place arguing that ‘the European Union was not a failed experiment’.
Receiving 2nd place was a great end to the Fall semester and energized me for a Spring of more debate!


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