Ty Rillorta/ Staff reporter
Debate club student leaders Otto Mao, Lauryn Lee, and Yuwen Zhang are teaching others about the art of battling ideas through words.
In this club, many skills are taught to its members through engaging conversations between their peers. “We encourage our juniors and seniors to take initiative to pass knowledge down to the younger generations” explained Mao. The goals of the debate club are to teach people about debating, how to do it, and how to excel at it.
Zhang finds that personal skills, like public speaking, are essential for everyone to have. “We teach people about different skills that have to do with debating, like public speaking” she said. Mao explained how confidence in speaking is quite essential too. “We want to give our members the confidence to talk in debates”. They are a group of people who all have the same interest. Nothing is needed to join the club and everyone is welcome.
Meetings for the club are on Thursday after Block 5. They first teach people the way to debate, then practice debates for their members.
Earlier in the year, the topics of mock debates are not taken as seriously as they will be later in the year, like, if legal immigration of extraterrestrial aliens will impact the Earth. Once the members become more proficient with their debating skills, they will do very topical events like the climate protests in Hong Kong.
The club has been around for quite some time. Mao became a leader when he was in Grade 11 and had previously been a member. When the opportunity arises, the club will focus on official events, held by organizations around the province.
The club participates in debate tournaments in many places, one of them being in Manitoba. This was a very important event with people from all over the country coming to compete. The upcoming event this year will be the B.C. Regional, which the best members of the debate club will go to.
In these events, multiple people debate in the Canadian National Debating Format (CNDF). Judges are equipped with rubric sheets which they use to mark the contestants. They use a point system, and whoever has the most points is announced the winner.
The debate club is meant to help people with speaking while also providing an environment to practice their skills. The club is expanding and would like others to join, seeing how it could help.