Headed by a new coach, social studies teacher Ms. Kathy Green, the debate team will be seeing many changes this year. The season will kick off on September 8, with a meeting and a practice open to anyone who is interested.
The debate team plans to start moving away from BSM’s traditional Lincoln-Douglas debate, allowing returning members to continue in it, but diverting new members to other styles. “LD debate is one on one debate where the main premise is to debate values with a heavy emphasis on research,” said second year debater, junior Emily Herrmann.
The forms of debate that BSM will be specializing in are Public Forum and Classic debate. The team only started in Public Forum debate, which is a two-on-two style debate with topics about domestic or foreign policy issues, last year. Succeeding in this style, BSM freshmen Adam Bamonti and Kristian Evans went on to win the state tournament.
The new style being introduced this year is called Classic debate, a category specific only to Minnesota, featuring two competitors on either side arguing issues that are usually current events. The current resolution regards the issue of immigration and path to citizenship in the United States.
Returning debater, junior Sian Last, specialized in Public Forum debate last year with her partner, junior Frances Jimenez, and doesn’t expect the shift to Classic debate to be much of a change for her. “It won’t be a big change, but my partner and I will have to learn new rules,” said Last.
The change was instigated after Ms. Green discussed the issue with previous debate coaches, Ms. Kari Koshiol, Ms. Anna Overbo, Mr. Tom Backen, and others in the Twin Cities.
“‘LD’ in recent years has changed toward a direction that no longer really fits BSM. Minnesota Classic is a friendlier format, offers a state-sponsored state tournament and will enable more students to participate with a friendlier schedule ending around Thanksgiving/early December,” said Ms. Green.
Returning members of the debate team have already participated in a four-day pre-season camp this August. “Everyone started doing research for all the the topics,” said Herrmann, “Even though we’re all different divisions, we’re all one team.”
Captain Bennett Kenzie expects the team to do really well this year, and so do other returning members Last and Herrmann. “A lot of first years did very well last year, so we have a good team to work with,” said Last.
Herrmann agrees. “Ms. Green has put so much work into the team already,” said Herrmann, “and there’s just a lot of enthusiasm all around.”