March 16, 2011

Speech and Debate team to host first national tournament at Whitman this weekend

The speech and debate team will host its first national tournament this weekend, featuring debaters from thirty-seven high schools nationwide.The tournament, which begins Friday after school and ends Sunday afternoon, will have two debate events: Lincoln-Douglas, which features one-on-one philosophical debate, and student Congress, which models how the U.S. Congress debates. Ten students, including Whitman freshman Conrad Mascarehas and junior Peter Jorgensen, will participate in Congress.

While the team has been talking about hosting a tournament for several years, a lack of funding and advertising connections caused them to put the tournament off.

“It’s easy to have a lot of talk but no action,” club president Nikhil Gupta said. “This year we had a lot of time and more money so we were able to do it.”

To finance the tournament, the team sold advertising to business magazines, like the Economist and Capital Business.

“They’re basically paying us to distribute their magazines at the tournament, which is a solid source of income for this tournament,” coach Ari Parker said.

In addition to the magazines, the team also received donations from places like Cava, Whole Foods and Chipotle. These donations enabled them to save money and will also help to provide the debaters with food during the tournament.

With over thirty Whitman debaters participating in the tournament, the team is optimistic that the tournament will be a success.

“We hope that this will be a successful tournament,” Jorgensen said. “The fundraising will give us the opportunity to hire more coaches and send more people to tournaments.” SOURCE: Black & White

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