The Loyola Debate team began the 2017-18 school year with the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Tournament in Texas. Led by coaches Michael Overing, James Zucker and Zachary Sandoval, the 30-member team is split into three different types of debate: Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum and Congress Debate.
Loyola also hosted its own national debate competition, where teams from local cities, northern California and other states such as Nevada came to compete. The debates were held in rooms in Pinney and Ardolf Hall, where about 250 students competed.
The competition was centered around Lincoln-Douglas debate regarding the topic of whether the U.S. can compel people to do national service. According to Zucker, Lincoln-Douglas Debate is a one person vs. one person debate that is based on philosophical issues. There were 6 preliminary rounds that took place from Friday, Sept. 8, until the morning of Sunday, Sept. 10. The outrounds then determined the eventual winner, who was announced Sunday afternoon.
Zucker said, “This particular tournament ended up being more of a learning experience for us. Some of our debaters were new to Loyola Debate, and some were getting used to the types of arguments.”
According to Zucker, the debate team in one week will have a college invitational tournament at Cal State Long Beach, which is when schools come for a weekend, debate for 6 rounds, and then compete in the playoffs and championship for that particular round of tournament. Junior Jacob Tamkin, one of the public forum debaters, said, “I would definitely recommend debate to all students. Debate is a good opportunity to get a little out of your comfort zone and improve on your public speaking.”
Public forum debater junior Mark McAllister said that being on the team changed his way of speaking and writing. He said, “I really enjoy being on the debate team. It is a very fun [and]fulfilling experience. I have learned so much in the areas of public speaking, critical thinking, and speech writing, all within a competitive atmosphere.”