The Hillsdale College Debate Team took first place in sweepstakes at their first tournament of the season. The team traveled to Western Kentucky University this past weekend.
Twelve debaters competed in the WKU/Alumni Fall Tournament & Round Robin. The team debated teams from Western Kentucky University, University of Bowling Green, Central Michigan University, and other schools.
“It was the first time that we really got to get together with the debate community,” junior Kathleen Hancock said. “It was a really good time to just have an introduction to the topic from other people’s point of view and see what we’re up against this season.”
The team competed in Lincoln Douglas Debate, a 1 vs. 1 form.
“It’s very policy-oriented,” freshman novice debater Benjamin Bies said. “You have a resolution. Our resolution right now is, ‘Should cyber coms substantially increase actions?’ The affirmative would propose a plan and promote it. The job of the negative is to attack it.”
Three debaters advanced to out rounds, or the final tournament portion. Bies was one of the semi-finalists.
“I’d heard some horror stories about people’s first tournament,” Bies said.
After the tournament, however, Bies has no plans to drop debate.
“I’m ready to sell my soul to debate. I hate public speaking. I’m deathly afraid of it. For some reason, I kept walking out of my debate rounds thinking that it was very fun and I wanted to go do another one.”
The first tournament is a good way to identify strengths and weaknesses.
“The first tournament is always a little bit rough,” said junior Hannah Johnson, the team manager. “We’re hearing how other people approach the topic for the first time. We’re getting new debaters used to the format and figuring out logistics. Overall, it went really well as the first tournament.”