Debating differences

Nordic reporters sat down with staff members to compare and contrast these three debate clubs.

Senior+co-presidents+Rachael+English+%28left%29+and+Bernadette+Bresee+%28right%29+pass+the+microphone+to+continue+the+discussion+in+Speech+and+Debate+club.

Jacoy Willis

Senior co-presidents Rachael English (left) and Bernadette Bresee (right) pass the microphone to continue the discussion in Speech and Debate club.

Hannah Zaharia and Julia Stout

Model United Nations
Location: Room 905/multi-purpose room during club/study time on Mondays
Adviser: Chris McQueen
Co-presidents: Raven Apigo, Tobin Hansen, Cindy Kuang
Answers courtesy of Tobin Hansen

Why should students join your club?
There are a lot of different people who are in MUN for a lot of different reasons. There are people who want to go there to experience the discussions and learn about international issues, and then there is a core group who goes to try and perform the best they can and be competitive because there are awards. MUN appeals to a broad spectrum of students with a broad spectrum of interests.

What happens during club meetings?
Each week we meet with everyone and we give public service announcements. During these meetings we prepare for conferences, which normally last an entire weekend.

Does the club engage in any out-of-school activities?
We go to conferences several times a year, and we have training sessions after school on Wednesdays where we go over strategies for debate, how to research and the detailed technicalities involved in MUN discussions. We go over how to operate in committee sessions.

Has membership increased within the last several years?
Yes, four years ago we were a club of about thirty.

Speech & Debate
Location: Room 921 after 7th period on Fridays
Adviser: Joanna Walker
Co-presidents: Raven Apigo, Rachael English
Answers courtesy of Joanna Walker

Why should students join your club?
S & D gives students the opportunity to develop their powers of logic and communication. We strive to empower each member to become an effective communicator, ethical individual, critical thinker and a leader in global society. Students work as a team to build logical, well-formed, well-evidenced arguments and then compete at tournaments against students from other schools. Not very many clubs are interscholastic. Our club is highly academic and highly challenging, but also incredibly fun. We also have epic snacks.

What happens during club meetings?
We enjoy epic snacks; then the team works together to research their current case.
Does the club engage in any out-of-school activities?
We compete at tournaments– four or five a year, Fridays and Saturdays. Most last the entire day.
How involved are the club members?
It’s a little early to tell. But so far, members are committed. We’ve had great turn out every Friday. The real test is when we go to our first tournament in December. I’m hoping we take the whole team.

SOAR
Location: Room 909 during club/study time on Tuesdays
Adviser: Dawn Netzel
Co-presidents: Bernadette Bresee, Rachael English
Answers courtesy of Rachael English

Why should students join your club?
We discuss current political events. What makes our club unique is that you don’t have to be particularly politically intelligent to participate: if you have an opinion that has no evidence to support it or goes against the general opinion, you can say it anyway.

What happens during club meetings?
Before we meet, we post the topic on our Facebook page so members can do some preliminary research if they want. We make a PowerPoint with some key facts and popular political views on the subject, and then people discuss it. The discussion goes lots of different directions. Some example topics are the 2016 presidential candidates, the role the government plays in environmental affairs, the U.S. response to international terrorism and the relevancy of the electoral college.

How involved are the club members?
Some enjoy listening to the discussions while others enjoy participating. Some are more educated in politics or keep up with the news more, and others will share their automatic response to a topic with no background knowledge or experience, which is good too.