Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:55 pm

Clubs: Debate Team

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00 p
Place: Room 241
Sponsor: Stefanie Weldon
President: Jason Choi,Ansh Johri,Sneha Kannan,Poorva Singal
A passion for arguing, an ability to point out faults and a knack at being always right. These three skill sets may only get you a slap in the face in the real world, but in the realm of debate they are what define a champion.

The debate team is much like a sports team – they practice constantly to perfect their touch in time for a match. In their case the art is of argumentation rather than athleticism and strength. They dispute important legal issues – many of which are currently being debated or will soon be debated at the national level – while weighing ethics, laws and emotions.

The team gears up for battle once a month, preparing for hours on end in the hopes of defeating other schools in the county. Each debater knows his topic inside-out, but for that knowledge to contribute to any success, they have to prove themselves on the podium during two half-hour skirmishes. In the end, a judge decides who presented a better argument, and that individual is deemed the winner of the match.

There is a long, tedious and hard road to even get to a meet. Practice is king in the world of debate. "They present their position to me, we toss it back and forth, I rip them apart and then we try and put them back together in a fashionable and effective form," says Stefanie Weldon, team sponsor, Blair law teacher and Media Literacy Coordinator.

Despite the heavy workload which is, according to Weldon, "not for the faint of heart," the debate team provides a unique experience to members. "These are kids who love to argue, have strong opinions and love to get up and point out people's flaws – but the trick is to do it graciously and accurately," Weldon says of the debate adventure. She has something very special to offer as Weldon is a retired attorney and law professor – the only coach with an extensive legal background in the county. Weldon teaches the kids to look for legal strategies and insights that other coaches cannot delve into.

The labor-intensive club is much more than extra homework; the team also learns invaluable life-long skills about speaking. "You have to learn to speak properly; it’s a big part of debate, but more over, it's a big part of life," says Weldon.

Weldon reminds the Blair community that the only requirements to join the debate team are interest and dedication.

If interested in joining the debate team, please contact Stefanie Weldon during club hours.

Club beat by Lucas Farrar