Debate seeks out new members with tryouts

Debate team ignites its season with tryouts scheduled for Dec. 12.

“The debate team is in the process of researching topics and getting ready for tryouts because current members have to try out,” said junior debate member Julio Bermudez.

According to sophomore Sam Cutler, the team met in the debate sponsor’s classroom this week. He hopes to make the team, and this year would be his first.

“We have to have tryouts to see who is going to make it to the competition,” said debate sponsor Abbigail Sullivan.

Both the sponsor and members understand the purpose of the preparation phase. Even new members understand the value of research, and Sam stayed till 4 p.m. to prepare.  Sam said his research strategy is to go and explore larger topics and then narrow down. Currently, he is researching reporters who protect the identity and confidentiality of sources.

“I have looked into the Sixth Amendment as part of my research, the right to a quick and speedy trial. It also includes a part pertaining to our topic, the right to confront a witness. This basically says that the defendant has the right to face the accuser in court,” said Sam.

Sam is preparing alongside seasoned debaters.

“After tryouts, we will solely focus on the topics by researching and doing practice debates,” said Julio, who has been a member for three years.

These practice debates provide an opportunity to verse other schools and themselves in order to strengthen their skills for the competition.

“This year we want to give the kids more opportunities to conduct professional debates before they get to the tournament,” said Sullivan.