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The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

Debate team looking to expand


After the tournament on Feb. 3 the debate team is looking to expand their team.

Debate is a club that focuses on researching current events and problems and building skills like research, organization, teamwork and public speaking. They have tournaments on Saturdays from November until March. 

“It’s a really good activity to learn about new things,” Bradley Meurren, a previous Westside debater and now the debate coach, said. “It’s a really good opportunity to make new friends.”

Debate improves a range of skills such as speech, vocabulary and persuasion. There are many aspects of debate surrounding the competitions. 

“My favorite part about debate is the tournaments,” senior Saffiya Rustamov said. “Actually, competing is very fun.”

Debate tournaments often consist of the same school and people that have the similar interest of each other. The tournaments occur frequently enough to cause most of the same people to be there.

“I made a lot of my lifelong friends through debate,” Meurren said.

To prepare for these tournaments, the teams research all sides of the argument and plan for what the judges may like and may not like. They also look at previous tournaments to see how certain teams debate and what subjects they strive in.

“We’re going to be prepared to debate ‘yes, we should’ and ‘no, we shouldn’t’ because in debate, we will debate both sides,” Meurren said. 

Debate competitions can vary in rules or setup. The preparations in a one-on-one debate and a public forum debate competition are similar but have different rules and vary in partner. 

“Research both the affirmative and negative sides of the argument, draft up evidence, speeches and rebuttals, and then practice until tournaments,” Rustamov said.

Debate can be centered around teamwork in a partener debate or group debate. Having everyone involved is extremely important.

“The team as a whole helps each other prepare for tournaments,” Rustamov said.

Memorization is one of the more difficult parts of debate. In a debate tournament, there is a lot of evidence to keep in mind for a rebuttal. 

“It takes some time to develop the argument, rehash it and reread it,” Muerren said.

 Setting up the tournaments and putting together rooms is a timely task. It takes everyone to put together a debate tournament, whether it’s cleaning up or sorting through evidence for the debate. 

“If it weren’t for the people that were tabulating and running the tournament, it wouldn’t happen at all,” Muerren said.

In tournaments, there is a wide range of skills that are shown. The groups involved in these tournaments are a community together.  

“I’m looking forward to people enjoying themselves,\ and having a good time while listening,” Muerren said.

The skills that are grown in debate and public speaking are very useful in the adult world. These skills can also open a lot of opportunities. 

“Debate has gotten me into college, graduate school and my job,” Muerren said.

The Debate team has big goals of expanding through social media and bigger meetings. Debate preparation is something that is always better with more people and having more eyes to look at the research, even if no one is ready to debate yet.

“Now there is always a role to play for everyone,” Muerren said. “Here’s some research. We need people to start putting the evidence and claims together and organizing it.”

The debate team is in a rebuilding stage and is wanting to expand with more members. Debate hasn’t been getting attention lately and the coach and members wish to change this. 

“There’s only two people on the team,” Rustamov said. “It’s been that way ever since I joined.”

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About the Contributor
Jocelyn Smytka
Jocelyn Smytka, Lance Staff
My name is Jocelyn and I'm a sophomore. This is my first year on Lance. I enjoy writing a lot, specifically poetry.
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