Schools across the nation are disputing the stereotype that only “nerds” join their high school debate team. With participants of all genders and grades (9-12), the debate team is a great way to make some lasting friendships and have a grand ol’ time. At Waukesha South, the months of September through January are filled with students on the debate team prepping weekly for tournaments, and finding ways to improve their arguments and speaking. Led by their new and ferocious coach, Ms. Abigail Hodges, the team is well guided with the experience and knowledge she has to offer this season.
At the start of the season, a contentious topic is given to the teams, and it’s up to the students to make an argument to affirm (support) and negate (refute) the resolution. A team can be made up of two individuals, or one can choose to compete as an individual. Once that’s figured out, the students go to different tournaments hosted by various schools and put their work into action.
Every practice and tournament is aimed towards qualification for the state tournament in January. Waukesha South can boast the fact that almost every student on the team has qualified for state since the start of the debate program at South, 40 years ago. There have also been some exceptional students who have qualified for nationals in the past few years as well.
New recruits are always encouraged to join, and are necessary for the program to survive. Debate might be one of the best clubs you can join in high school because there are many benefits to it. Firstly, it looks great on a college resume. Colleges love students with debate experience because it sharpens academic performances in writing, communication, critical thinking, and reading comprehension. Additionally, debate greatly enhances a student’s skills in public speaking. Not only are you going to sound more confident, but you get better at articulating your thoughts. Lastly, and most importantly, the team is very close and getting to know the people around you is extremely fun.
Waukesha South has a great debate team that’s open to anyone, and joining the club might give you some of the best and unforgettable high school memories. So why not give it a try?