On Saturday, October 26, Oakcrest’s Debate Team held a mock debate tournament at school. Eight debate team members spent the day preparing cases and debating each other in order to train for the Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensic League Lincoln Douglas Debate.
Oakcrest’s Debate Team focuses on sharpening girls’ public speaking and debate skills to compete in tournaments with fellow team members and to acquire valuable communication skills. The team belongs to the Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensic League (WACFL), which is affiliated with the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL). The Lincoln-Douglas Debate takes place annually and has individual students debate issues of values and philosophy.
Oakcrest students practiced their skills by participating in two rounds of debate over the topic: Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admission decisions. Alumna and former Debate Team captain Katie Svoboda (‘19) attended and gave team members tips and advice from her own experience competing at the WACFL Metrofinals last year.
Master History Teacher Christine Nussio, who serves as the Debate Team moderator, explained that she decided to set aside a special training day for the entire team this year because of the addition of so many new members.
“This year we have so much interest that we needed to take time all together when I could be sure that the students would all be available,” she says. “All but one of our students have never competed in an LD debate before, so this gave everyone the chance to experience what a tournament was like and practice writing a solid case. We definitely learned a lot about cross-examination techniques and how to prepare for the debate. The students improved noticeably just between the first and second round!”
“I am looking forward to the debate season because I think it will be interesting to debate with other kids from different schools in the area,” says team member Lucy Spence (‘23). “Debating techniques vary from each student, and so it is interesting to see how students argue for their cases.”
The Debate Team’s next mock tournament will take place on Saturday, November 16.