Debate has new look with competitions on Zoom

Debate students attending zoom

Debate students attending zoom

Ashton Hoffman, Staff reporter

It has become quite obvious that every activity this 2020 school year has looked different due to the COVID-19 guidelines in effect. Especially for the students involved in Debate who are now competing over Zoom. 

Even though the environment for the Debate team is very different than before, they are still expected to compete and act as if it is in person. 

“The setting is quite a bit different than what we usually do, students are kind of competing with themselves while debating on Zoom,” Debate coach William Mercer said.

While debating via Zoom may impose a challenge on the students, Mercer believes that they can still get the same benefit and experience as they would usually in person. 

“Since it’s completely online we use websites like to keep some organization,” Mercer said. “Even though the environment might be completely different and new to the students, I think that the experience they are gaining from debating in general still has an impact on them.”

For the new students that took Debate this year, they have never experienced everything that live debate has to offer. However, for the students who have taken Debate in the past, the new online format that has been instilled is something that could take some getting used to. 

“It’s certainly been tough for students who have done it in the past,” Mercer said. “No matter if you’re returning or new, there is certainly an uphill battle while staring at a screen for eight to10 hours long.”

Although the remote learning model is a challenge to overcome, Mercer still hopes to teach them to love debate no matter what circumstances they may be in.

“I just really hope to instill the love for Debate, it’s hard to bring students to the table and engage them,” Mercer said. “If they like Debate now in the online environment then they’re going to love it when it’s in person.”