By Sophia James ’20

Debate Team is undoubtedly an up and coming extracurricular activity at St Andrew’s. The club was discontinued a few years ago after the president graduated but in 2018, Sophia James (‘20) founded her own team, building a group of devoted, passionate, and insightful students. The first season was focused on recruiting as many interested students as possible. Having just transferred to the school, it was hard at first for Sophia to find students to join. Starting with a mere two members, the club gradually grew to a core group of teammates who call themselves the “OG Deb8 Squad.” Today, the team has over two dozen members, not including the many other students who drop by occasionally for competitions on topics that they feel strongly about. 

The team is structured for exactly that kind of participation. They encourage any and all St Andrew’s students to contribute their insight to competitions they feel a connection to. While there are a few dozen students who come to meetings regularly, the team welcomes everyone to competition days. Quite a few students have taken advantage of this and even some teachers and faculty members have stopped by. Competitions happen regularly occurring approximately every three weeks. The team devotes one meeting to decide on a topic, a second meeting to research and a third to do the actual debate. The pro and con sides for the competition are usually determined by what the students personally believe. Sometimes though, the students are challenged to argue the opposite of what they believe. Some of the topics that have been debated include: should college athletes get paid, should DC become a state, should dance be recognized as an art or a sport, should US citizens be fined for not voting in elections.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2019-20 Print Edition, the full version can be viewed here

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