The Debate Club has returned to HP this year and they are ready to begin their journey in argumentation.
Debate club is a fun way to develop oracy skills and social skills and it gives students a place to grow as public speakers and arguers. It also is an opportunity for students to get to know others and build community.
“One of the purposes is to give students an opportunity to grow in making arguments verbally because it’s not written debate, it’s mainly spoken and a place to work on presentation skills. The main benefit for students is that it looks good on college applications,” says Ms. Wernet, English teacher.
Mrs.Wernet is one of the coaches in the club. She agreed to be a coach because in her prior career she was an attorney, having some background in structuring arguments.
Debate club came to be due to Principal Garibaldi and a donor from the community who donated money to establish the program. The club has been slow in growth due to how long it took for the school’s approval.
“We have been slow in our growth. I think part of that was, it took a while for the school to approve everything for us to be a club and part of it is just getting the word out,” says Mrs. Wernet.
The club is recommended for those who have a passion for debating, going back and forth to make a point.
“Sometimes it gets difficult with all the information we have to take in, but with the help it’s easier and fun,”
Lizeth Perez, a sophomore and a member of the speech and debate club, says “I would recommend debate club to those who have a passion for it. If you’re doing it just for the college benefits then don’t do it, you should have an actual interest in it.”
She enjoys learning about real world problems, obtaining information, improving her speaking/speech, and learning new vocabulary.
Mrs.Wernet enjoys working with students out of class and exercising different skills.
She says, “Part of the meeting, we do these things called speaking drills. For example, everyone will read different passages of texts as loud as they can so they can be the loudest in the room or they’ll practice adding a word in between every word.”
The student club leaders are Tania Vasquez, a junior, and Logan Gonzalez-Pastrana, a freshman. Both Tania and Logan are dedicated to beginning speech and debate, and helping the club to grow. They have both participated in several tournaments so far this year and have each won at least one of their rounds.
Meetings take place Wednesdays from 3:30pm-5pm and Fridays (which are optional) from 3:30pm-4:30pm in room 230. Debate club is looking forward to their first in person tournament taking place Friday March 4th and Saturday March 5th at South Gate High School. They hope to grow the club and be able to achieve many accomplishments.