On November 24th and 25th, the York University hosted a high school debate tournament. It was organized by the York Debating Society, which is one of the oldest clubs at York. According to the organizers it was a successful event with a total of 152 students participating in the tournament. Arwen MacPhee-Wagne, the president of this club, says competitions like this are part of a tradition since they “are a common event throughout university debating societies.” With competitions like this, they seek to “encourage the learning and passion of highschool debaters and love to facilitate that learning.”
Being able to learn is also important to the debaters themselves. Abby, a student from Whiteoaks said that the reason she loves debating is because of how she is able to expand her knowledge through it. She is able to learn a lot, and is later able to relate that back to different classes for example.
The competition was not only a success from an organizational stand point, as the high school students has positive feedback as well. Three students by the name of Emily, Heather, and Tina gave their reasons for participating in this competition specifically. They like the fact that this tournament is accessible; that it is easy to sign up and is close to home. They also like that it gives a chance for them to debate with people on their level, and not be in a competition that is dominated by team Canada.
The York Debate Society will also be planning a competition for university students in the winter. If anyone is interested in that, or any other upcoming debating events check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YorkDebateSociety/