Debate team finishes strong at the UC Berkeley Invitational

By Abigail Kim

The debate team received several awards at the UC Berkeley Invitational that took place from February 18 to 20. This is one of the largest debate competitions in the nation.

In Congress, junior Alisah Hassanali won second place and sophomore Emma Kavcioglu won fifth. In the JV Lincoln-Douglas debate, sophomore Adam Nasseri was a Quarter-Finalist. Junior Mitch de Guzman and sophomore June Peers were Double Octo-Finalists.

The tournament was held on UC Berkeley’s campus with a total of 2,196 competitors and 187 schools from 23 different states and countries.

Students addressed the resolution that “Justice requires open borders for human migration.” In other terms, they debated the question, “Should all countries have open borders?”

Depending on which side students were designated, they had to support or oppose the resolution.

Over the course of three days, students competed by alternating affirmative and negative debaters, presenting their arguments to the judges and their competitors. From there, both teams made rebuttal arguments and cross examinations.

“We debated four rounds on the first day and then two more rounds on the second day. The third day was for elimination rounds. Each day we had to arrive early in the morning and leave late at night. There were multiple types of debate events being held at the tournament with students from all over California. There were over 100 people competing in my event (Lincoln Douglas Debate) alone,” junior Emma Kedilerli said.

Kedileri won four out of six rounds. She qualified for state in a recent tournament.

“We were informed of our opponent and what side we were going to be defending about 15 minutes before the start of our round,” Kedilerli said.

The Berkeley Invitational is a high level and challenging competition with experienced judges. Debaters really had to bring their most persuasive techniques to advance.

“This tournament allowed me to realize that there are going to be times when I encounter challenges that I’m not always prepared for. I learned to take these challenges as opportunities to improve and ready myself for the next time I face them,” Kedilerli said.

“Something that I believe that I really did well on during this tournament was essentially using what my opponents said against them to only further prove my case. Turning these points, and on top of that, demonstrating the overall positive effects that my side would bring in addition to that, really helped convince my judges that I deserved the ballot,” de Guzman said.

The team’s performance illustrated all the hard work that they put into the competition. Their exceptional results were a great representation of what kind of team they are and hopefully continue to be moving forward.

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper