The debate team grows in size and empowerment

The debate team’s growth in size this year has led to many successes.


Ms. Stewart leads a class discussion about a video the debate team watches on Nov 13. Stewart said usually the meetings have more content other than a video. photo by Delaney Hupke

by Katy Rouse, Writer

Walking into club day, freshman Arwen Dickson looked for the debate table to hopefully join the team. She was excited to have this opportunity as she started her high school career because she had heard of all it had to offer.

“I was introduced to debate partially because my advisor is Mrs. Absher, and she’s one of the debate coaches so I was made aware of it through that,” Dickson said. “Before I came to STA, I knew that debate was a common thing to do in high school so I looked out for the team on club day.”

Debate is an extracurricular activity that students can participate in at many schools around the city. There are different kinds of debates, but STA does parliamentary debate, while switching between a straight and metaphorical debate every month.

“A straight debate is where you are given a topic and you have to debate it depending on whether you are government or opposition, government is for the issue and opposite is against it,” senior Claire Witt said. “A metaphorical debate is a little different. You are given a phrase, and you and your partner must connect it to a current event and support it if you’re government, or debate against it if you’re opposite.”

Witt joined debate her junior year with the team being significantly smaller than it currently is.

“The team has at least doubled in size in my opinion,” said Witt. “I think there are more seniors in the debate class this year, which has added to the team, and there are a ton of new freshman, which is great to see because they’re the future of the STA debate team.”

The debate team doubling in size may have to do with every grade wanting to get more involved in their community and work on public speaking.

“I think many people think that STA’s debate is way scarier and harder than it really is,” sophomore Grace Pence said. “When more people go to the info meeting and see how it really works, you can see how tournaments function. Going into it before the meeting I didn’t know if I would end up doing the club but learning more about it made me join.”

Along with debate being an educational learning experience, it is also a motivation for women at STA.

“Being able to show up to a debate with the same amount of debaters as the Rockhurst team is really cool,” Witt said. “We can do so much as girls, and I think it’s important to show other schools who we are and prove that we can debate just like the boys can.”