Barstow Debate has a big senior group with high hopes.
Last year, the National Speech and Debate Association announced this season’s debate topic, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.” This broad resolution includes a variety of smaller topics, such as restriction and regulation, asylum, visas, etc. This year’s seniors, Taha Fanaswala, Kristin Tingle, Ariza Nanji, Julia Butch, Tyler Durwood, Sam Short, Robbie Putney, Shaunak Lokre, Solomon Park, Kate English, Kelsie Jackson, and Luke Lopatofsky have been working hard in preparation for this season.
Taha Fanaswala describes the team’s preparation for the season as increasing with “rapidity,” adding that they have already started practice debates and that most everyone is set on what they plan on arguing once tournaments begin after the second weekend of October. Taha comments that he is optimistic about the team’s chances of succeeding, largely because they have such a large senior group “who are all willing to help out the juniors and underclassmen.” He also adds that a nice feature of this year’s topic is that it allows for a wider variety of arguments and opinions. Sam Short has been “writing an affirmative case about increasing quotas for nanotech workers, keeping up with results of other tournaments, and writing core files for the team.”
Many students believe debate has provided them with a larger network outside of Barstow. Taha mentions the sense of community and connection as one of his favorite parts about debate. Sam describes his favorite part of debate being “how intricate and technical the activity is, and the competitiveness.” Sam believes the team has many things to look forward to this year, including having the ability to qualify three teams to the TOC (Tournament of Champions) this April.