Debate succeeds at tournaments


Abby Hsaio, Anish Naik, Patrick Kilcullen and Connor Race pose with a trophy after a successful tounament together.

Debate has had many successes in their tournaments this year, including member Patrick Kilcullen’s award for best presiding officer and award for best speaker in November. This is due to the hard work members put in, according to sponsor Dustin Zubert.

“We spend the time before the tournament researching and figuring the pro-arguments for the bill and counter-arguments for the bill,” Zubert said.

Five representatives went to the last tournament to represent North. Those attended had to be well-versed in the issues they are covering. An example of these students is freshman Patrick Kilcullen.

“Of the tournaments I’ve gone to, I’ve won about four awards,” Kilcullen said. “There was a debate tournament last Saturday, but I was unable to come.”

When not practicing for an upcoming tournament, they are learning public speaking skills that can be valuable to everyone.

“We do drills,” said Zubert. “Eliminating fillers in your speeches, working on things like using gestures and tone of voice effectively, [and] organization.”

The club teaches these skills to their members every Wednesday in the library. The club is always willing to introduce new members to the club. Those interested can come to a meeting without being fully committed.

“I wish there were more people in it. We don’t get many people,” Kilcullen said.

The students sometimes show more commitment for the club and the tournaments than they do for their schoolwork and homework.

“I’m sure some of the students are doing more work for our team than they are for some of their classes, in terms of outside work, and homework, and preparation. I think they realize, long-term, how great the skills are that they are developing,” Zubert said. “Everyone in their lives are going to have to be able to talk in front of a group. You see these kids talk about some things that most of the adults in this building don’t know about, and these students know how to talk about, research, find effective sources, and give convincing speeches about them.”