by Anthony Bateman ’21
The Providence College Debate Society is looking forward to their first competition of the year this Friday, September 21, at 4:30 p.m. at Boston University.
The Debate Society is the longest running club in PC history and has been active for the past 97 years. Members of the club take pride in its sense of tradition, as well as its role in the PC community.
Carly Martino ’19, co-president of the debate society, said that they “are the only club that represents the college on the national level in an academic way.”
The upcoming competition is the first of many for the club that will take place throughout the school year.
“Every year, we travel to other universities across the country to debate other schools in five rounds of parliamentary style debate,” Martino explained.
The seasoned members of the debate team, however, are not participating in this weekend’s event. “The tournament is a novice tournament, which means that each participant is new to college debate, and this is their first experience debating in college,” Martino said.
The more experienced debaters have been mentoring their new teammates for the upcoming competition.
“This past week and next week, we have been teaching the new members the debate basics on how to take notes, how a round is structured, etc.,” mentioned Martino.
Martino commends the new members’ willingness to learn and encourages them to try to make the most of their first debate experience.
“It is a lot to learn in such a short time, but the tournament is a great chance to get exposed to the style and format of the debates, as well as a good environment to learn and get feedback from experienced debaters,” she said.
Co-President Annie Butler ’19 also praised her new teammates’ desire to learn and improve their debate skills.
“We have a ton of new novices who are already really dedicated to the team and who are itching to get to our first tournament,” she mentioned.
Butler believes that the upcoming competition will have a positive turnout for not only the new members, but also for the team as a whole.
“This is the biggest group of novices we’ve ever taken to a tournament. We have just under 30 coming. I’m really expecting at least a few to rank nationally,” Butler said.
Noah DeRossi-Goldberg ‘22, a new addition to the team, voiced his concerns about his upcoming performance. “Much like any other competition, there is an overwhelming amount of nerves. To compete on the collegiate level in anything is difficult, but to compete in an intellectual challenge against some of the brightest young minds in the country is truly a daunting task,” he said.
Although he might be experiencing some first-time stage fright, DeRossi-Goldberg expressed he feels up to the challenge.“Thankfully with the help of some amazing debate veterans here at Providence College, I feel prepared for what is to come. I’m excited, and ready,” he said.
The debate society is still looking for new members and is open to any student with some interest in argument or debate. Those interested should email Hannah Wickstrom ‘21, the club’s secretary.