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Debate Tournament at Del: In-House and In-Person

A couple of weeks ago, on a quiet Saturday morning, twenty debaters arrived on campus—ready to compete against their peers in our Debate Society’s first in-person debate since March of 2020.  They were joined by nine parents (ready to serve as judges) and ten of their fellow students (ready to serve as timekeepers).  The atmosphere was charged with energy and excitement.

The debaters, working in pairs, participated in three debates.  The first two of these were prepared rounds in which the following resolution was considered: “BIRT the government of Canada should enact policy supporting a gradual shift on all roads to the mandatory use of fully automated vehicles.”  The third round, an impromptu one, prepared over a pizza lunch, focused on a more lighthearted theme: “BIRT flying is a better superpower than invisibility.”  The sounds of the day—verbal clashes, post-debate laughter, stories of rhetorical excellence, etc.—bestowed a sense of completeness that is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve in the virtual realm.

In the junior division’s team category, Clara Bertoldi and Arman Pakravan secured first place (going undefeated), while Adrian Ciccolini and Nicholas Ionescu placed second.  In the junior division’s individual category, Clara placed first, Nicholas second, and Adrian third.

In the senior division, it was no secret that Olivia Iafano and Tony Yu, both veteran debaters, constituted a formidable team.  Still, Nicole De Jesus and Jilahn Menshari rose to the challenge, placing first overall (posting an undefeated record); Olivia and Tony were the runners-up.  In the senior division’s individual category, Olivia Piccolo placed first, Nicole and Olivia tied for second, and Jilahn finished third.

The day was a fitting end to a worthwhile year of debate.  Congratulations to all who participated in the tournament.  It takes hard work and courage to enter the forge of a debate competition.

We are especially grateful to the parents who volunteered their time to serve a judges: Andrea Endres, Sergio Gomes, Katherine Gougeon, Maria Iafano, Ju Youne Lee Choi, Gerado Molina, Jennifer Moore, Payam Pakravan, and Awanish Sinha.

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