7 things students should know about the PLNU Debate Team

In Community by Autumn Shultz

The PLNU Speech and Debate team is third in the nation. They’ve maintained that status through hard work and dedication. Here are the other things you may not know that give them that ever-so-charming personality and good public speaking skills.

1. They are silver-tongued quarrelers.

It’s important for debaters to have an eloquent speaking style and professional demeanor. In fact, many of the more advanced debaters can speak up to 500 words per minute.

2. Tournaments.

Weekends for debaters are spent at debate tournaments. Each day typically begins around six in the morning and doesn’t end until 10 o’clock in the evening.

3. Individual Events.

In addition to debating, members of the team are also required to present speeches and perform scenes from literature and the theatre.

4. Sports Status.

Due to the amount of school that debaters typically miss, the squad is given the same status as sports teams. This means that missing classes for the school-sanctioned tournaments has no effect on these students’ attendance records.

5. Mutant Memories.

Any and all facts, stories or statistics which debaters come across are at risk of being used in a debate round. Many debaters can often cite evidence at the drop of a hat, and they frequently memorize entire paragraphs of information, called blocks, in order to be better prepared for rounds.

6. Prepping for Debate Rounds.

During each round of a tournament, a statement called the “Resolution” is read aloud. Debaters then have 20 minutes to prepare their arguments for the coming debate. This includes the time it takes for each team to reach the room that they’ll be debating in.

7. Current Cats.

Debate requires members to be well-versed in the most current events affecting the country and the rest of the world. It would be safe to assume that if there’s any big story being covered, many debaters have already read articles on the events leading up to it.

*Autumn Shultz, the author of this post, is a member of the team.

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