Debating through a screen

Covid changes how debaters compete in tournaments.

Nik Shay

With pens and computers in hand, debaters prepare for their first tournaments.

The only difference? They’ll be debating through a screen.

“Covid-19 has made debate switch to completely online, which made camp more difficult this summer because it was harder to learn through zoom and it was harder to keep focus on only debate while you were at home,” junior Chloe Johnson said.

Instead of going to other schools to compete like usual, the debate team will be competing from home on Zoom.

It’s not easy.

“I think the greatest challenge for debating online will be communicating with your partner. At camp we had to have a separate phone call apart from the zoom,” Johnson said.

Other than competing online, it seems as though there isn’t many other challenges.

“It has not really changed anything, but it has changed everything,” sponsor Lynn Miller said. “What I mean is that we still prepare and compete in essentially the same way. The Zoom format makes it different, but we seem to be adjusting just fine. In many ways it makes it easier, because we do not have to worry about transportation and travel. It makes it more difficult, because we have the unpredictability of technology to deal with.”