Two pairs of Hillsdale College stu­dents on the Debate Team made it to elim­i­nation rounds during their fourth tour­nament of the season at Bowling Green Uni­versity last weekend. Katrina Torsoe | Courtesy

Two pairs of Hillsdale College debaters made it to elim­i­nation rounds during their fourth tour­nament of the season at Bowling Green Uni­versity in Ken­tucky last weekend. Sophomore Jadon Buzzard and junior Henrey Deese took first place at the Sunday tour­nament.

Seven pairs of debaters com­peted in the first Par­lia­mentary tour­nament of the season. While the team has attended Par­lia­mentary tour­na­ments in the past, it is still a rel­a­tively new form of debate for the team members. Par­lia­mentary debate differs from Lincoln Douglas in both prepa­ration and pre­sen­tation, and junior Kathleen Hancock said the team is preparing and researching for this dif­ferent type of tour­na­ments this season.

“Par­lia­mentary is a lot more extem­po­ra­neous,” Buzzard said. “You get the topic you’re debating only 20 minutes before the round. Then you just go in with the prepa­ration that you did in 20 minutes and you debate it.”

Par­lia­mentary res­o­lu­tions can range from strictly policy ques­tions to abstract and vague propo­si­tions.

“Some­times you get very arbi­trary random res­o­lu­tions,” sophomore Caleb Lam­brecht said. “We got res­o­lu­tions such as ‘This trump will win the game’ or ‘A diamond with a crack is better than a pebble without one.’ It’s very inter­esting because you take these terms and you have to interpret what they mean.

When teams are given the propo­sition, they’re also assigned a side: either the gov­ernment (affir­mative), or the oppo­sition (neg­ative). The gov­ernment team has the advantage of speaking first and, therefore, inter­preting the propo­sition.

“It’s kind of dif­ficult coming into these rounds as the oppo­sition because you have no idea what the gov­ernment is going to come in inter­preting these terms as,” Lam­brecht said.

Buzzard and his partner Deese won their semi­final round, debating the res­o­lution that ‘Lighting a candle is better than cursing the darkness’. The pair took first place in the Sunday tour­nament.

“It was nice to beat out our main com­petitors, Grove City, who we beat out in finals,” Buzzard said. “Whenever we go to this tour­na­ments, those are the people we’ve got to beat.”

One other pair advanced out of pre­lim­i­naries. Sopho­mores Erin Reichard and Katrina Torsoe advanced, but lost out in the semi-final round in Saturday’s tour­nament.

“The tour­nament could have gone better for the school overall,” sophomore Caleb Lam­brecht said. “Because we didn’t perform super well, we didn’t win sweep­stakes. It was great that one of our teams was able to win.”