From Mars to Saudi Arabia: the debate team’s wide range for the 2019 season


Photo/ Nina Johnson

Orono's debate team switches their topic at the end of October.

Nina Johnson, Editor in Chief

Nina Johnson
Editor in Chief

Orono’s debate team recently reached the middle of their season, marking a period of reflection for the team and their goals going into November. The team debates high profile issues for the United States and around the world, ranging from topics regarding the economy, foreign policy and the complexities of democratic processes. The team has attended three tournaments thus far and have three more planned for the regular season.

“One of the most exciting things from this season so far has been seeing so many new faces on the team. Knowing that there will be a strong debate team when I leave makes me glad because someone else is going to be able to have the same opportunities I’ve had while on the team,” senior debate team co-captain Emma Davie said.

High school fall debate seasons are twofold, and they structure themselves around debating two distinct issues; October’s end typically signifying the transition of topics. This year, the Minnesota high school debaters first researched the ethics of placing a probe on Mars by 2030, and they’re already in the throes of researching their next topic regarding the United State’s involvement in Saudi Arabia.

“Our topics can be hard to argue both sides, but Orono’s team has been doing a fantastic job.  Our next topic is Resolved: when considering United States national interest, maintaining current American military assistance to Saudi Arabia is preferable to a significant decrease in assistance,” senior debate team co-captain Isa Chavez said.

Orono’s team recently competed in the Rochester tournament, where Jillian Dore, Isa Chazev, Maddie Dore and Rae Malik all received honorable mentions for going three-to-one in their rounds. The next tournament for Orono is Saturday, Oct. 26 at Stillwater.

“I love the Saudi Arabia topic; I feel like it’s very interesting and it needs to be discussed. We haven’t done an international topic in a while, so I am super excited for this one!” Chavez said.

The season comes to a close in the first weekend of December with the Minnesota State High School League state tournament, hopefully sporting some of Orono’s team.