Saline Middle School Students Compete at State Debate Tournament

After months of preparation, Saline Middle School two person student teams competed in the Public Forum Middle Level State Debate Tournament, presenting their pro and con arguments on the topic of No First Use Policy.

There were six debate competitions leading up to Saturday's State Debate Tournament. In each competition, teams of two prepare the pro and con side of an argument. The side is selected at the time of debate where after a coin flip, each team can elect to go first or second to argue their points or whether they will be pro or con. Based on that outcome, the opposing team chooses from the decision left, then teams argue their best case to a Debate Judge. Presenting passionate arguments backed by evidence along with the ability to refute the opposing team's positions is critical to winning each debate. This season's topics were: The United States federal government should enact the Medicare-For-All Act of 2019 and the No First Use Policy.

At this past Saturday's MIFA State Tournament, the team of eighth graders Carolyn Kwon and Alice Jiang made it to the team debate semi-finals, placing 4th in the overall competition, behind winner Grand Rapids City BO, Covington 2nd and Mill Creek 3rd. In addition to the team debate, Speaker Awards were given based on judge-awarded point rankings to each individual debater. Eighth grader Neah Bloch won First Place Speaker, Carolyn Kwon won Third Place Speaker and Alice Jiang won Fifth Place Speaker.

"This season was a bit chaotic but it was also very nice. I learned how to manage my time and also rebound from sudden changes. Overall I'm excited to see how debate is going to be like next year, " said team member Alice Jiang.

The Saline Middle School Debate team has a full roster of dedicated SMS Students, including Veer Brackenbury, Peter Brewer, Kyra Tokarski, Neah Bloch, Sam Daniels, Arjun Sennerikuppam, Corynn Gady, Mara McClellan, Kate Gilchrist, Morgan Presnell, Carolyn Kwon, Alice Jiang, Henry Lizotte, Carmen Pangilinan, Aidan Presnell, Benjamin Miller, Gabriel Romero, Ana Sirbu, Gabriel Warren, Elijah Zaksek

About the National Speech and Debate AssociationThe NSDA was founded in 1925 and has more than 1.5 million alumni. The NSDA is a Speech Honors Society for Middle and High School students, earning distinction through Speech and Debate competition and community service. Students are held to standards of integrity, humility, respect, leadership and service.

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