Debate Battles for Victory at Baldwin

Rosalinda+Marquez+%5B11%5D+and+Caroline+Webber+%5B10%5D+pose+with+their+medals+at+Baldwin+High+School.+
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Debate Battles for Victory at Baldwin

Rosalinda Marquez [11] and Caroline Webber [10] pose with their medals at Baldwin High School.

Rosalinda Marquez [11] and Caroline Webber [10] pose with their medals at Baldwin High School.

Rosalinda Marquez [11] and Caroline Webber [10] pose with their medals at Baldwin High School.

Rosalinda Marquez [11] and Caroline Webber [10] pose with their medals at Baldwin High School.

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On Oct. 22, Rosalinda Marquez [11] and Caroline Webber [10] took first place at Baldwin High School’s debate tournament.

“Winning the tournament felt amazing because Rosy and I have worked so hard this season,” Webber said. “It feels great to represent Ottawa with a win.”

Every year, Kansas high school debaters all debate the same topic. According to Marquez, this year’s topic is United States’ engagement with China.

“I honestly enjoy this resolution because there are a variety of topics that a team is able to debate,” Marquez said. “Sometimes the cases that we go against are silly, but it’s great because the majority of the time we are able to learn more about how our engagement with China affects the world socially, politically, and economically.”

A misconception about debate is that both teams simply argue for or against the topic. In reality, each team prepares a case, or a plan, to put the topic in action. In each round, the affirmative team tries to argue why their plan should be put in action and prove that it would work. The negative team tries to poke holes in the plan, explaining either why the plan is a bad idea, or why it wouldn’t work.

“I think what people don’t understand is that debate is more like presenting a research paper than having an argument,” Webber said.

According to Webber, she and Marquez have written three plans this year. The first is about creating national parks in China, the second is about reforming China’s criminal justice system, and the third is about stopping synthetic drug trafficking from China entering the U.S.

“I definitely recommend for everyone to try Debate,” Marquez said. “Granted, I am biased, but debate is an important class to take because it teaches you how to public speak and how to research. Overall, debate requires work, but it is a fun activity once you start winning tournaments.”