This House Will Go to Nationals

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - By: Sarah M

Over the weekend before the break, eight debaters, accompanied by a savvy squad of judges and moderators, battled BC’s top teams at the biggest tournament of the year, provincials. In the highly energized halls of Pacific Christian School, our four duos set out to win ultimate nerd glory and represented Brentwood exemplarily. Our senior debate team was comprised of me, Sarah M, and my wonderful partner Kevin D, and our juniors were represented by future world leaders Connor C & Will S, Afyz M & Toria E, and Emma F & Kavi G. (Note: seven of those eight are from Whittall or Alex – the rightful winners of Inter-house Debate).

For our two prepared debates on Friday night, we evaluated the controversial issue of whether prisoners in jail should have the right to vote revoked. On Saturday, our three rounds were impromptu, meaning we were given half an hour to compose a compelling eight-minute speech for or against a contentious resolution. Topics ranged from enabling the sale of human organs to abolishing the Senate (thank you Mr. Wismer and Comparative Government AP!) to implementing omni-lingualism in Canada. Our decorum was sometimes tested as we dealt with underhanded resolution, “squirrelling”, and even blatant deceit, and I’m terrifically proud of our debaters for continually exhibiting the utmost integrity and respect.

After this exhausting intellectual marathon, we got to enjoy a lavish banquet and eat as much as we could while anticipating the award presentation. Throughout the tournament, Brentwood’s teams demonstrated exceptionally strong eloquence, critical thought, and creativity, so I was not surprised to see that translate into high placement. We our so proud of our spirited Kavi G for securing a spot at Nationals and of the amazing Afyz M for snatching one as an alternate. Considering the size of the provincial tournament, not to mention the hundreds upon hundreds of other students who participated in the various regional tournaments, placing in and near the top ten is truly a sensational achievement!

After witnessing the quality of debate at the provincial level, I am more convinced than ever that every one of the students in our debate program deserved to participate in this tournament and would have kicked some serious nerd-butt. Like I gushed on the bus ride home, I am so, so, so proud of our club! The journey that so many of our new and returning students bravely embarked on in September has transformed them into talented statespeople and diplomats. As our dedicated and passionate coaches Mr. Bryant and Ms. MacInnis surely agree, it has been an absolute joy to watch these debaters grow. We are all so grateful to the aforementioned mentors for their tireless effort in making possible this adventure and providing so much guidance and encouragement along the way. Also, a massive thank you to Mr. MacLean and Mr. Patel for their enthusiastic support of the program.

On these grounds, we beg to propose that Brentwood’s year of debate and its exciting conclusion this weekend have been tremendously enjoyable and rewarding.

Sarah M, Alex ‘14

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