BY KYLE NELSON
On February 17th, selected CCHS debate students left for the largest congressional debate tournament in the nation at the prestigious Harvard University. Here, is where debaters from all over the country competed for bids to the tournament of champions, another top level tournament.
Debaters Jared Ally, Zach Perrotta, Aiden Adams, Sam Mickenberg, Bruce Glasserman, Kia Del Solar, and Svetlana Johnson were some of the attendees.
Essentially, CCHS sent students to compete in three categories, Congressional, Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum. Congressional Debate is a form of debate where students emulate different members of Congress and debate bills and resolutions. Lincoln Douglas or LD style is one-on-one debate where students argue moral topics and are given scores as to how they present their argument, junior Jared Alley competed in LD at Harvard and argued if public colleges and universities in the United States ought not restrict any constitutionally protected speech. Public Forum debate is a team event that either advocates or rejects a certain position on a topic. The ideas are communicated to a judge who emulates a citizen as they are non-professional and a member of the American jury. The teams included sophomores Aiden Adams and Sam Mickenberg along with sophomore Devon Kassel and junior Ryan Prezlomski who debated whether The United States should lift its embargo against Cuba.
“Harvard was a rewarding experience,” junior Jared Ally said. “I debated the best in the country and left Harvard with more experience and a greater understanding of what it takes to become an elite debater.”
For Congressional Debate, students debated a bill to phase out the department of homeland security. The judges score each competitor on their prouse while they speak, their points they make and overall argumentative success. If a person scores high enough they “break” into the next round. Junior, Bruce Glasserman was not only the only student out from Cooper to break to quarter finals in congress, but he was the only student to break to the next round out of all the debaters sent from CCHS.
Competing against some of the most qualified students in the nation, Glasserman felt honored to have made it as far as he did. He hopes to take what he learned at this level of competition and use those skills in his other tournaments.
“I was sitting in a quarterfinal round with other people, most of whom I actually hadn’t had experience competing with.” Glasserman said. “Being on the level of people I’ve either looked up to or heard great things about for the past 3 years was so enlightening because for those 3 hours of the session, I was at the same level as some of the other great competitors.”