On Saturday, December 3rd, The SLA Debate team took second place at the Penn Youth For Debate Fall Tournament.
The debate team was founded at SLA five years ago. For some members, the debate team is part of their school schedule and meets twice a week. Many students, however, discovered their love of arguing in the Penn Debate ILP, which meets on Wddnesday afternoons.
For the past month the debaters prepared cases in response to the following statement: “The direct popular vote should replace the electoral college in presidential elections.”
The cases were written by students, edited by Penn debate interns, and practiced at the regular debates at Central High School.
After eight hours of stressful arguing, SLA won second place overall in the tournament, with one team advancing to the quarterfinals. Additionally senior, Elisa Hyder won best speaker award for the second time in a row.
Even with the amount of success, some teams felt slightly disappointed that they did not advance farther in the tournament.
“We debated well and were hoping to make it to the finals,” said Senior Jeff Kessler “Still, I have no idea as to why we lost the last debate; everyone was sure that we had won.”
However the more important point is that for about 16 of the 20 debaters this was their first tournament and a major learning experience for them
“This was my first time debating and participating in a tournament” Said Senior Ayanna Robinson. “But it felt so good to just jump into arguing, I never thought that debating an educational topic would be fun. By the end of it I had gotten the gist of what debating was all about”
“Saturday was a tough tournament.” Coach and History Teacher Diana Laufenberg said. “Nothing seemed to break our way.”
“Although we felt confident with our cases, judges did not seem to concur with our arguments. I am thrilled that we were able to get in a ton of practice for all the teams and we have some concrete goals for moving forward in the year.”