Westfield Inaugural “Virtual” Parliamentary Debate Tournament
Ten Hackley debaters, including juniors Lily Napach and Kiri Fitzpatrick, sophomore Michael Potanin, freshman Amy Kliatchko, Arushi Chandra, and Mason Napach, along with 8th graders Jake C., Harper K., and Jad B., took part in a 5 round Parliamentary online debate tournament hosted by Westfield Academy, debating such impromptu topics such as “This House would tax men to reduce the gender pay gap,” “This House would eliminate adoption preference on the basis of race and ethnicity,” and “This House would support the significant automation of the justice system.”
These were challenging topics with debaters having only 15 minutes of preparation to brainstorm arguments for a side that is pre-assigned.
As with the Tournament of Champions, the debates took place over the course of multiple days, with debaters spending most of their weekend online involved in the competition.
Kiri and Lily went 4-1 in the preliminary rounds, making it to the quarterfinals, losing on the Opp side of the motion “This House regrets the concept of the American Dream” in a fascinating debate.
Overall, with the social distancing guidelines in effect for the forseeable future, these will likely not be the only online tournaments for our debaters in the coming months. Two more tournaments are being organized for the month of May.