Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte Hosts First GGSA Debate of the Year

Photo: Kristen Plant

Public Speaking hosted the Golden Gate Speech Association’s (GGSA) first Congressional and Parliamentary Debate of the year Saturday, Sept. 30. 

Over 590 competitors and 135 judges were expected from GGSA, the local league, including 73 and 13 respectively from Miramonte’s program. The league has 200 more students this year than last year. “I’m most excited about participation being up in Speech and Debate after taking a hit—I would imagine because we were stuck online during the pandemic. This year we had even more Matadors than last year participating and competing,” Public Speaking and Debate teacher Kristen Plant said. 

Students, judges, coaches, and volunteers arrived on campus to check in at 8 a.m. The library was the hub for the judges, many of whom were parents of competitors. Students congregated in the cafeteria, although many stood outside to practice their speeches. Miramonte’s competitors prepared in class during the three weeks leading up to the event. “I really enjoyed the Congress 1 tournament hosted by Miramonte! My favourite part of these tournaments is talking with my friends and other competitors in and out of rounds and just learning from each other throughout the day.” junior competitor Komal Aujila said. 

Students who weren’t competing and parents of competitors volunteered at the tournament; some were stationed at the help desk, and others helped sell concessions. Students and their families provided breakfast for the judges in the morning, picked up pizzas, and donated snacks to sell at lunch and for concession throughout the day. “My friend and I created a ‘Meal Deal,’ including a slice of pizza, a drink, and chips, which got many sales. Hearing people ask for the meal deal was such a fun experience,” sophomore volunteer Avrey Freer said. 

Photo: Ava Skidgel
Debaters and judges prepare and organize in the cafeteria.

The first unit in the elective class covers an introduction to congressional debate. Throughout the unit, students lectured, researched, distinguished their side, and debated either to affirm or negate three topics; the topics ranged from a resolution to remove Turkey from NATO to a bill to universalize mental health care. These three topics were debated at the tournament, so all students were prepared if they chose to enroll in the competition.  

First-year students, also called “rookies” in the public speaking class, are automatically put in the “House,” which is the JV form of congressional debate. If rookies score 1st through 3rd place however, they become eligible to compete in the “Senate” for future competitions. Veteran public speakers are on varsity and are put in the Senate for congress. 

JV and varsity competitors were put into different “chambers,” or classrooms, which they returned to throughout the day to debate all three topics; this means students debated against the same people for all three topics. Parent judges scored each competitor based on guidelines of scoring 1 through 10. After each topic, judges would switch chambers and competitors would have a short recess. 

Placing is determined by individual scores being added up in each chamber. “We did very well; in both House and Senate, Matadors got plenty of awards and I look forward to seeing how our rookies progress as the season continues,” senior and Public Speaking and Debate co-president Armaan Raza said.

The next tournament is GGSA Speech 1 at James Logan High School on Oct. 21, and the next Congressional tournament (Congress 2) is scheduled for Nov. 4 at San Ramon Valley High School.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Ava Skidgel, Social Media Director
I’m a junior this year, and it’s my third year as a journalism student. My favorite part of Mirador is the process: each issue, from brainstorm to print, everyone takes part, from phenomenal writing to pristine indesign layouts. I love being a part of this small community in room 442, and I'm thrilled to be Social Media Director!
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Mirador Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *