That’s debatable


Dr. Dustin Verpooten, Science, explains how the club operates. Around 30 students attended the meeting.

Courtney Rhomberg, Author

On Wednesday Oct. 7, the Debate Club  had its first meeting of the year. Students came together to discuss the upcoming debate season.  

“The debate team prepares with either partners or themselves [to debate] about controversial topics. We go to events or different schools and meet people all over Indiana, and we all debate over different topics,” Niji Shah (12) said.

The debate team helps students develop skills in public speaking and identify the positives and negatives about a topic.  

“[The debate team] made me a lot more comfortable with public speaking. Before [I was in debate club] I would be really nervous to get in front of the class, but now it’s not a big deal because you don’t have someone yelling back at you,” Jacob Zak (11) said.

Competitions can include one or two people per topic. Each team or individual has the chance to advance farther into the competition.

“There are three rounds in the competitions and they use a bracket system. If you lose the first round you aren’t done, so you still move on. At the end you find out the placements, and who made the top ten,” Shah said.

Participants spend a week preparing and gathering information on topics they choose to debate about.  

“[Preparing for competitions] usually takes about a week, we get [a document on] Google Drive and we get everyone to collaborate on it. It’s a team effort to get ready for [the competition],” Zak said.  

The debate team has been around for many years and is currently sponsored by Dr. Dustin Verpooten, Science.

“I’m looking forward to the fact that there are a lot of new faces, which means there can be some new people getting involved. The more people in the school getting exposure to it, the better,” Dr. Verpooten said.