Debate club allows students opportunity to engage in organized arguments with students from other schools


Nicolas Depalma, Staff Writer

Debate Club is a low-commitment club that promotes public speaking and organized argument. The meetings take place every Tuesday after school in room 251 and one Wednesday every month at Blair. Debate topics are administered by MCPS.

Debate is a club for those who like to argue; it promotes discourse in a calm and organized setting. Topics are set every month and are the point of discussion every school will focus on until the month ends and the next topic is announced. What the club does outside of school is only half of what it does for members every day.

Sophomore Posimi Obadina joined Debate because he enjoys speaking. The club pushes him to get off his feet and do work. Debate prevents Obadina from watching YouTube for hours at a time and allows him to become proactive.

For Obadina, Debate is not a hard club to participate in. Work is done at a leisurely pace, though there is slight pressure to finish on time and do well. He has participated in the club since his freshman year. He felt he couldn’t do much until his second year participating after getting a computer.

English teacher and club sponsor Melissa Kaplan makes sure the students participating in the club are well supervised, while the club leaders take over content. Her favorite part of being a sponsor is getting to know the members of the club, developing relationships and interacting outside of school.

As of now, members of Debate are planning for the upcoming meet on the last Wednesday of this month. Teams are made up of two partners who are paired with a group of two from another school to debate against. Whether a team debates the pro side or the con side is not decided until the beginning of the match, so it is best to be comfortable with arguments of both sides leading up to that point.

Members have the chance to try out for a leadership position for the club like captain or junior captain. Senior and Captain Kevin Zeng’s main reasons for trying out for the position was because of his experience with debate both inside and outside of the club.

For Zeng, helping members of the club comes easily, so when the opportunity to do a voluntary interview came about, he took up the offer.