Club / Activity: Forensics: Debate

Advisor(s): Francis Hittinger ([email protected])

The Mountain Lakes High School Debate team provides an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in current events, philosophy, and political/social policies to learn the art of civil discourse and discussion in a structured format through participation in individual Lincoln Douglas debate or team Public Forum debate. Specifically, the mission of the debate program is to develop active listeners and intellectually competent interlocutors who are capable of understanding and constructively discussing all sides of important civic issues. This mission is accomplished through participation in debate tournaments in which the MLHS debate team competes with other high schools in the NJ/NY region. Mountain Lakes High School debaters take their case preparation seriously, do their best to represent Laker Pride at tournaments, and provide an inclusive and welcoming community to other debaters at MLHS. By preparing for and engaging in debate tournaments, Debate Club members will learn how to:

· Develop team working skills
· Understand all sides of an argument
· Experience new points of view
· Research current issues and events
· Write cases with strong contentions, claims, warrants, links, and evidence
· Defend and attack positions persuasively using logic and evidence
· Engage in public discourse with a polished and professional style
· Deliver speeches and responses spontaneously

There are roughly 25-30 students involved in this club. The Lincoln Douglas Debate- Tuesdays 2:45-4:30 (either for practice rounds or collaborative work sessions in the Media Center). The Public Forum Debate- Thursdays 2:45-4:30 (either for practice rounds or collaborative work sessions in the Media Center). The Club highlights and/or accomplishments from last year:
Last year we grew the team from a small handful of debaters (approximately 8) to a large number (over 20)
Participated in all Newark CFL conference tournaments
Joined the New Jersey Speech and Debate League for 2018-2019 and expanded tournament schedule
Instituted student leadership (captain) positions for debate for 2018-2019

Dr. Hittinger states that the goals for this year are to “qualify a MLHS debater or debate for NJ state tournament (GOAL MET as of 11/17),participate in the NJ state tournament (2019), participate in 5 Newark CFL and 3 NJSDL tournaments, place MLHS debaters in the top 3 (JV/V) any CFL tournament (GOAL MET as of 10/20/18), and place MLHS debaters in the top 3 of any NJSDL tournament.
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