Tuesday, June 24, 2014

National Speech and Debate Association Nationals are Here!

While most students have been celebrating the beginning of their summer vacation, the North Dakota debate national qualifiers have been hard at work finalizing their research for the national debate tournament held this week in Overland, Kansas. Their topics were announced May 1st, and after all of their preparation for the last 45 days, they will finally be able to battle it out! (and maybe enjoy the summer weather once its all over!)

One of the topics that the Lincoln Douglas debaters will facing is “The United States ought to prioritize the pursuit of national security objectives above the digital privacy of its citizens.” Yes, high school students across the country have been diligently reflecting on their right to privacy. How huge is that?! We have all heard stories about hackers, surveillance, and wire-tapping. Take a moment to think about what your digital privacy means to you. Now think what you might be able to come up with if you had been focusing on it for the last month in a half! It’s so exciting that our next generation of students have already been thinking about how they feel about these types of situations and also how they can take personal responsibility when it comes to their privacy.

This is what debate topics are meant to do. They are meant to spark deeper conversations about those things that don’t have an easy answer and we are a little grey and fuzzy on. As a judge, it’s always fun to sit in the break room between rounds and listen to other judges and coaches discuss their opinions on the monthly topics and share new ideas or stories that others haven’t considered yet.

Debate sparks conversation. Conversations spark ideas. And ideas can change the world!

Follow the results at http://www.speechanddebate.org/nationals and cheer on team ND!