Sophomore Nelson Athow Wins 1st at Debate Tournament
Sophomore Nelson Athow won first place in the novice division at the University of Puget Sound annual high school speech and debate tournament on January 12.
The tournament comprised more than a dozen different events, including extemporaneous speech, informative speech, Lincoln Douglas debate, and policy debate. Nelson competed in the policy debate event. After six rounds, Nelson and his partner were the only novice team among five final teams, thereby earning their novice title. "By that point in the tournament, my partner and I had debated for six rounds, or a sum total of nine hours. I was just happy to have come so far and also be able to rest,” he said.
Policy debate selects a topic or “resolution” to be debated annually. The current resolution is "The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.” The round starts with four constructive speeches (eight minutes) each followed by cross-examination by the other team (three minutes). The affirmative team gives the first constructive speech, and the teams alternate until the last negative constructive speech. After constructive speeches, each team gives two rebuttals (five minutes). While competitors may read evidence in a rebuttal, they may not present any new positions of argumentation.