Debate team to compete at first tournament of the year

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Ben Kimchi

It’s the beginning of a new era for RBHS debate. This year, the speech and debate team has more members than ever, Co-Captain Sonya Hu said.
The debate team has 60 members this year, whereas last year there were only 35 members.
The number of club members nearly doubled this year, leaving Hu optimistic for the team’s first tournament, which is the Parkway West Fall Classic Oct. 20-21.
“I’m excited for the first tournament,” Hu said. “Parkway West is always extremely fun and is a great team bonding experience.”
Hu attributes the rapid growth to the high amounts of newcomers to debate, or novices. Last year, there were only 11 novices, and this year there are 29 novices, Hu said.
The influx of new debaters means the experienced debaters had to take upon themselves the role of teaching them about the different events. Sophomore Sadia Moumita, the Programmed Oral Interpretation (POI) chair, has worked with several novices in preparation for the Parkway West Fall Classic.

“I have had a lot of really good information and support from my varsity teammates. I am really excited for this tournament, but also nervous at the same time, as I have never done this before.” -Snowy Li, freshman”

“I have to say at this point, I am both excited and nervous,” Moumita said. “I am so hopeful for all of the new novices, and even moreso I am hopeful that we prepared them well. Getting to work with a lot of these new members has been a great experience, and they really have put in a lot of work, and I believe it will pay off.”
Both Hu and Moumita believe there is a lot of potential with the new debaters. Novices, such as freshman Snowy Li, say they have already learned a lot from upper members of the team a novice debater.
“I have had a lot of really good information and support from my varsity teammates,” Li said. “I am really excited for this tournament, but also nervous at the same time, as I have never done this before.”
34 debate members will attend the Parkway West tournament, and of those competing, 16 are novices, Hu said. Hu, alongside many other veteran RBHS debaters, hopes the team can grow closer and develop lasting relationships.
Li already already feels the debate team is a “wonky family” to her; a family that both Hu and Moumita see a bright future for.
“Our team has definitely expanded this year, and there are numerous new talented members,” Hu said. “I have high hopes for this year’s novices, and I know they’ll do great at Parkway.”