Debate

I am currently a member and competitor in the Georgia Debate Union, the policy debate team at UGA.  I did policy debate for 4 years at Chattahoochee High School and it helped produce my enthusiasm for learning about governmental and legal policy.

UGADebate
The team at the 2014 National Debate Tournament

Debate is a competitive game and to win that game, loads of research is required.  Literally loads.  During my freshman and sophomore years, competitors used 4-5 tubs filled with paper evidence to use during the round.  These tubs always ranged from 30-50lbs worth of paper.  Now, debate has become more efficient with the use of paperless technologies, but the same amount of research, if not more now that I have moved into the world of intercollegiate debate, is required.  Extensive research is necessary for both sides of the “resolutional question” – teams must be prepared to both affirm and negate the given topic due to the switch-side nature of the activity.

Policy debate can be hard to explain in a detailed manner because of the particular way in which our arguments are constructed.  If you are interested in reading into more on the structure, the policy debate Wikipedia page does a great job of explaining it.

Here are the 8 topics, representing 8 different years, on which I have debated and over which I have done large-scale research, with the core of each topic underlined:

High School Debate:
1. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.

3. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

4. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.

Intercollegiate Debate:
5. Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its democracy assistance for one or more of the following: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen.

6. Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce restrictions on and/or substantially increase financial incentives for energy production in the United States of one or more of the following: coal, crude oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power, wind power.

7. Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing; indefinite detention; offensive cyber operations; or introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.

8. The United States should legalize all or nearly all of one or more of the following in the United States: marihuana, online gambling, physician-assisted suicide, prostitution, the sale of human organs.

The 8th resolution is the resolution I am currently researching.

In addition, I have coached and judged for my alma mater, Chattahoochee High School.  The 3 high school topics I have coached are the following:

1. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.

2. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

3. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.

4. The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth’s oceans.