One activity that often goes overlooked in a student’s four years at Prep is the Debate Club. This is disappointing, as participation in this club could be enticing to many Prep students. It is developed around persuasion and argumentation, two fundamental skills to being successful in the future. Debate is also highly competitive, leading to self-rewarding results. Through this, the debate team leads to many benefits both inside and outside of school.
Debate is a combination of two fundamental skills: argumentation and persuasion. Argumentation produces critical thinking skills, leading to a greater understanding and appreciation of the world. All arguments are backed by credible sources. Therefore, debaters become excellent researchers and readers. At the same time, debate requires the ability to effectively persuade. This is a practice that occurs in everyday life when interviewing for a job, convincing a parent to do something, or writing essays for college applications.
“Debate can be cross-applied to my role as a student and leader, both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Prep junior and debate team member Justin Czerwinski.
A debater receives these benefits without even knowing it. They have too much fun competing.
Debate is an intense and competitive activity. Like any sport, there is a sort of excitement centered around competition that increases its enjoyment. Prep junior and debate team member Owen Jacobsen said, “When i’m debating, I get in the zone.”
This game requires an ultra-level of focus that must be tapped into during a round. There is an incentive to use strategy for the purposes of beating one’s opponent.
“At the end of the day, the goal is to win,” said Prep debater Timmothy Soucash.
If someone is an inherently competitive person, they should consider doing debate. If someone is looking to gain an intro level to debate, they should take the debate class. Students learn what it means to be an independent thinker and approach the world from a critical point of view. The class is a great way to boost confidence and leadership capabilities, breeding excellent public speakers. Finally, colleges love seeing debate on a prospective student’s resume; admissions officers understand the value this activity brings to a student.
Former Prep debater Will Lewis (’17) said, “taking the class was very beneficial and sparked my interest in debate.”
Overall, the class is a great way to become acclimated into the team. Being a member of the debate team at Prep reaps unique benefits that no other club or activity has. The first benefit is travel. Debaters get the ability to go to national tournaments all around the country, which allows for a great way to see new places and explore places outside of Erie, Pennsylvania. National tournaments opens up opportunities to make and meet new friends all across the country. The debate community is a diverse network full of like-minded people.
The debate team at Prep has a lot of upside that often goes unnoticed by the students at Cathedral Prep. Students at Prep are always reminded that they are individually vital and unique to the school. Being on the debate team could be a great opportunity to uncover that masked potential.
Daanish Bhatti is a former staff writer for The Rambler and a member of the Cathedral Prep Class of 2018.