Debate at HPSH

Debate is a club that is open to all students at Highland. Debate meets on Mondays and Thursdays at 3:15-5:00 in Ms. Becker’s room (room 2214). The type of debate at Highland Park is Policy Debate. 

If you’re new to debate then you can start off as a Rookie and then move on to be a Novice, JV, and finally, a Varsity debater. 

In debate you get to work with a partner. You and your partner debate against another person and their partner. The main idea is to convince the judge that your side/ideas (Affirmative or Negative) are better than the other side. 

Once you join debate you get a topic that you will have to debate about. This year’s topic is the selling of arms to foreign countries. The proposition is: “The United States federal government should substantially decrease Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales of arms to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” 

The Affirmative side in a debate agrees with the proposition. Their job is to convince the judge that their plan is better and if it doesn’t go through then bad things will happen. In this case, the affirmative’s job is to convince the judge that the United States should stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, and if the United States doesn’t stop selling them then bad things will happen.

The Negative side in a debate disagrees with the proposition. Their job is to convince the judge that the affirmative’s proposition won’t work and we should leave everything as it is or else bad things will happen. In this case, the negative’s job is to convince the judge that the United States should keep selling weapons to Saudi Arabia because if they don’t then bad things will come from it. 

Debate tournaments usually go on for two days. Usually, Fridays and Saturdays. A debate tournament is around as long as a school day and you get to debate around 2-4 rounds depending on the tournament. 

If you want to work on/and or like to:

  • Speak in front of others
  • Analyze text
  • Come up with questions
  • Prove others wrong
  • Argue
  • Meet new people
  • Learn about politics 

then I suggest you join the Highland Park Debate Team!

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