UAIS Conquer Debate States

Destruction of Congressional debate rankings and Public Forum Victory

Lucas Robinson, Journalist

The state competition is the big one, and the unique challenges that come with online competition don’t make it easier, rather more difficult. But regardless, UAIS killed it! The online meet wasn’t completely without bugs, judges and students being assigned opposite rooms, the limited number of people on the screen due to Zoom, and the constant wi-fi issues being noted. However, the debate went as normal with rounds being given to the different types of debate, 3 total for Congressional debate and for Public Forum. The General meeting where every participant gathered was huge! Have you ever seen 3 full screens of people on Zoom before? It was a first for me too, I know. Just imagine making all those breakout rooms for the different chambers.  

The biggest competition of the year as you would expect has the most challengers, so big that the zoom meetings couldn’t handle the number of people there.   

You know the competition is tight when the Zoom call can’t handle the number of participants there were in Public Forum. Many participants couldn’t get into that meeting and staff had to work on the fly to get that critical information out.  

Congressional debate was similar with 3 full pages on the Zoom call, that’s 50 a page! I wasn’t in the Public Forum room so I couldn’t tell you how many people total there were, but I do know that Public Forum was way bigger than Congress this year.  

Finally, The UAIS team destroyed the rankings, taking 5 of 10 Varsity placements, 2 of 10 Novice placements and Public Forum had the highest individual wins all season.   

For Varsity Congressional Debate the rankings were: First Place, Alex Hughes (12th) Second Place Elsa Dupon (11th) Seventh Place, Giselle Sesi (10th) Eighth Place, Christine Manglathet (11th) and Ninth Place, Lucas Robinson (Hey, that’s me! 12th) closing out the season.

For Novice Congressional Debate the ranking was: Eighth Place, Anton Akroush (10th) Ninth Place, Ananya Shah (9th) Twelfth Place, Addison Beal (9th) and Thirteenth Place, Lily Gallina (9th) a solid start for these Novices’ journeys into the sport of Debate.   

UAIS Public Forum’s Daniella Dushja (10th) made 9th Place in the overall competition, but unfortunately, the team of Hannah D’hondt (12th) and Daniella Dushja (10th) missed the semi-finals by 1.5 points. That’s such a small difference; it’s truly tragic for Hannah D’hondt senior-year competition. I say we chalk it up to a bad judge call and remind this team they are the winners in the hearts of the people.  

Now, a word from our Novices:

  • “I was drawn to it in the beginning because I wanted to work on being more outgoing and to make new friends,”- Addison Beal (9th)
  • At the beginning, I was very confused and didn’t understand it all but I got the hang of it at one point and I really enjoyed it,” –Lily Gallina (9th) 
  • “This year in debate, I felt like the varsity debaters really drove me on and inspired me. Their dedication was very impressive and they really helped me when I was stuck,” -Ananya Shah (9th) 

The Varsity debaters would like to say something as well:

  • “Moving it online certainly changed the experience, Still, I think we had a successful season, including my state victory, because we worked together,” -Alex Hughes (12th)
  • “As a Varsity debater, I wanted to make sure our new debaters were able to receive the same experience they would receive if we were in-person, and I’m so glad they were given that experience,” – Christine Manglathet (11th)  
  • “What drove me this year was my love for debating/speaking and such. Rather than dreading doing it online, it was more of a fun/new experience for me to test out.” -Giselle Sesi (10th)
  • “I think I speak for all of us when we say that Mr. Kuhlman is the key to our success to debate, and we want to thank him whole-heartedly” -Lucas Robinson (12th)

Hey! You! With the face! If you want a bit more extra information, why don’t you check out the UAIS weekly bulletin here! (Not sponsored by the way, but maybe I should be)