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UIL Debate

Alex Ruiz, Staff Writer

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The Randall High speech and debate team competed in a UIL academic state meet this past week in Austin, Texas. The speech and debate team is coached by one of the newest members of the Randall staff, Ms. Brooklyn James, and aside from coaching the debate team Ms. James teaches dual credit speech, and helps direct the school theater productions.

The UIL congressional debate event is suppose to mock a real-life congress session. Congress is an individual contest in a large group setting. It models the legislative process of democracy, specifically, the United States Congress. Within this mock legislative assembly competition, contestants draft legislation (proposed laws and position statements) submitted to the tournament by past and current members. They research the docket of bills and resolutions dealing with real-world social and political policies prior to the contest to prepare their speeches. At the tournament, students are divided into different groups depending on how many participants there are, and are placed in different chambers where the actual debating takes place. The participants deliver formal discourse on the merits and disadvantages of each piece of legislation, and vote to pass or defeat the measures they have examined, and students extemporaneously respond to others’ arguments over the course of a session.

Participants are judged by the amount of times they speak, how strong their arguments are, and their demeanor. Ms. James and junior Taryn Dia, who has been a part of the debate team for less than two years, traveled to the State Capitol to participate in the congressional meet. Although Dia has only been competing for a short amount of time, she placed thirteen out of the 45 participants out of all of 5A congressional debate members. Dia placed first amongst our district, and region. This state meet was only the first of many chances for the team to bring home a victory for Randall. In the spring, the team will compete in UIL district, a regional competition, and NSDA which is a nationals prelim competition, and depending on how the participants do at those competitions they have a chance to advance to the UIL 5A state competition in the spring, and nationals in the summer.

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UIL Debate