Debate Club: Discuss Away!


Debate club in one of their meetings.

Debates are a great way to express opinions, feelings, and your thoughts. That’s why Oak Middle School has it’s very own special debate club! The club is run by a 6th grade student, Kensington Nelson, and supervised by a 7th and 8th grade teacher Ms. Alfaro. 

Essentially, debates take place in competitions with a single member team or teams with several students. “It’s very casual, it’s not like a formal debate club with rules, they do a lot of socializing and talking about the topics,” summarizes Ms. Alfaro. This makes the debate club a fun after-school activity that benefits students more than one would think.

With COVID, students are missing out on being social with one another. “I think the students enjoy being social and having a place to talk to each other and discuss the topics,” states Ms. Alfaro. Some topics that the students in debate club have recently discussed include: is it good to be famous, should robots replace teachers, is there enough protection in tackle football, and should stores be able to spy with cameras. 

These are fun topics that produce discussion and socialization which has been very limited. “Learning how to navigate a real life debate, knowing how to handle discussions, and finding out different things you might not have known about the people in the club makes the club so important,” states Kensington, the club advisor. Beyond socializing there are many other benefits from debate. 

According to ThoughtCo, knowing how to incorporate information and delivering it to an audience is a skill that will benefit students throughout their lives like with job interviews, conducting meetings, and giving presentations. These skills can help in most careers as students learn the art of persuasion. 

Beyond working, students can learn proper communication skills. These communication skills are beneficial in activities such as communication games, storytelling, discussion, and brainstorming. With meeting new people, it is important to know how to talk to people. It also helps with public speaking.

All of these abilities are being grasped by students just by participating in Oak’s Debate Club!