by Staff Writer Calamity Rose Jung-Allen
As we all know, the SLA debate team has been doing extremely well for the last few years. But what do the members think about their success, especially with it reaching its peak this year?
Senior Nikki Adeli, a varsity member since 2012, tells us that its growth is something to be very proud of.
“When my partner, Ruby Anderson, and I started to debate in our sophomore year, the club was crazy small,” she says.“But now into our senior year, we have about 20 excellent teams. We pioneered debate at SLA. We tried very hard and I’m very proud of our progress.”
This school year alone, they’ve won multiple awards, both individually as teams and as a school. Recently, they have qualified for Nationals.
Sophomore Kia DaSilva says that the team’s success feels great.
“I’m happy about it. When I was at the LaSalle debates, I got to see Anna and Nashay debate and watching their debating was so inspiring. I thought I was gonna cry it was so beautiful. It feels so special.”
DaSilva is partners with Sophomore Eva Karlen. They have only been debating for five months. But they say that it’s an invaluable experience.
“It feels excellent to be part of a team that is so successful,” Karlen says. “Kia does the work, and then I go in there and yell at people.”
DaSilva says that the reason for the rising team is SLA’s environment. “We have such a debate culture in SLA just in class alone, and the people who end up joining debate are the ones who are the fieriest ones in the debates in class.”
Adeli agrees. “I think that something SLA teaches really well is being aware of our surroundings,” she tells us, “And this notion that we have in debate is very similar. It makes us more aware about relating us to a global community. At least for me, the core value of presentation at SLA helped me a lot with debate and public speaking in general.”
So what are their goals?
DaSilva says, “I have to be a corner finalist, a successful varsity debater.” Adeli has a larger endgame as an already reigning champion. “I hope to qualify for nationals this weekend, and win a tournament in March with Ruby. We’ve won for two years running, here’s hoping for a third!”
They encourage you to join as well!
“It provides an outlet, just for anger and emotion,” DaSilva explains. “It helps you learn about global issues and objectivity in an argument. It also keeps you updated, which is really important. It’s a way to help you learn about your own interests because you learn about such diverse topics. It also gives you an advantage in college applications and resumes because it shows you are a well rounded individual.”