Debate Club Tweaks Tactics for Ethics Bowl

Tyler Chrenka, Staff Writer

The debate club was only able to meet three times before EHS went into full remote learning. Despite the setback that prevented any normal form of meeting, they were able to bounce back and place third at this year’s Ethics Bowl.  

“I thought the placement was really good for the amount of time that we had to prepare,” sophomore Emily Kennedy said. “It was difficult when we were practicing over Zoom because we couldn’t converse or read each other’s body language very well.”

Ethics bowl, a competition that has different high school debate teams debate ethical dilemmas, is often held in-person at SIUE. Because the competition was held remotely this year, the debate team had to change their normal strategies. 

“When we are all in person for the competition, we can exchange notes the entire time with our whole team, and it is easier to figure out when someone is done talking,” sophomore Grace Ramsey said. “We had to implement new strategies this year to combat these problems by practicing more so we are all on the same page, taking more notes and using the chat [on Zoom] to communicate.”

When the debate club isn’t preparing for the Ethics Bowl, they meet every other Wednesday and discuss current events. 

“Debate is full of welcoming and accepting people, and Ms. Lane helps to create a wonderful community every year,” sophomore Abigail Brown said. “I enjoy the people, but I also enjoy the fact that debate provides every perspective of the current events we discuss. We are able to formulate our own opinions and are able to keep ourselves informed about what is happening in the world.” 

By giving students an opportunity to voice their opinions on tough topics in the real world, the debate club creates an environment that many students may not experience during their high school years. 

Though the topics are sometimes serious, Kennedy says the discussions about them are powerful and much-needed.

“The conversations we have seem like they could last forever, and I love that,” Kennedy said. “It’s really exciting to have people to bounce your opinions off of and to receive other people’s perspectives as well.”