On Tuesday, December 1st, WCI held this year’s Regional Senior Debate finals, where five schools attended to compete for the top three spots in order to advance to the provincial competition. WCI sent four teams to the competition, and first and second place went to two WCI teams: Arjun P. and James D., and Adeolu B. and Ellen I. respectively.
“WCI has always been one of the best schools in the region,” Debate Club leader and tournament organizer Rishika G. explained, “so it’s nice to see the tradition being kept up.” Rishika said that a third WCI team also placed in third place, but that the organizers of the tournament decided that they couldn’t send three WCI teams to provincials. “It goes to show how good, how large WCI’s debate community really is,” she continued.
The four schools that competed with WCI in the three rounds were Brantford Collegiate Institute, Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School, Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, and St. John’s College.
The first two rounds consisted of a prepared debate, with eight minutes for each speaker and four minutes for the concluding speeches of each side. The resolution for these two rounds was “This house would close off its borders to Syrian Refugees.” Contestants had to prepare arguments both for and against, and they argued both sides: one side in the first round of the tournament, and the other side in the second.
The third round was an impromptu topic, where contestants had ten minutes to prepare after receiving the resolution. Traditionally a more light-hearted resolution in the third round, this year’s was no exception. Contestants had to argue for or against this statement: “This house believes that this is the most wonderful time of the year.” Each speaker had six minutes for their initial speeches, and three minutes were allotted for each side’s concluding speeches.
Debate tournaments have teams of two paired against each other during each round. Rounds vary between prepared topics, like the one about Syrian Refugees, and impromptu topics. Each of the four debaters speak for an allotted amount of time to discuss their arguments and refute their opponents’.
Each team of two has a first speaker and a second speaker, where the first speaker does both the team’s initial and concluding speeches, while the second speaker delivers the team’s second speech and traditionally spends a majority of their time refuting the opposing team’s points. The debaters argue over a topic, called a resolution, with one side taking the proposition (supporting the resolution) and the other taking opposition (opposing the resolution).
The four WCI students who placed first and second will be advancing to the provincial tournament on February 26 in Toronto.