Debate Team Goes to D.C.

Last weekend, Covenant’s debate team of ten students took 4th place out of 12 colleges in the Values and Capitalism Debate competition in Washington, D.C. after debating on a wide range of topics ranging from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Syrian refugee Crisis.

The debate was held at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel half a mile from the White House and was hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Colorado Christian University.

Debates are similar to other team sporting events in that two teams go head to head, but in this case, each team participates in five one­-hour rounds.

One team is assigned to support a resolution; the other is assigned to oppose it. Both teams have 15 minutes to prepare at the beginning, and then the teams take turns presenting their arguments and refuting the arguments of the other side.

After the debate ends, the judges decide the winner.

Covenant’s team, which is actually a club, is typically an underdog at debate tournaments. Many of the colleges they compete against, such as Pepperdine University and Colorado Christian University, have complete debate programs.

Like sports teams, those colleges offer scholarships and have full time coaches. Covenant’s team is coached by Stephen McKerihan, a Covenant alumnus and former member of the team.

Even though Covenant’s team doesn’t have the same advantages some other schools do, they have still benefited from learning to think on their feet and clearly express ideas.

“It’s an incredible life skill to have,”says Morgan Barney, a member of the team.

And participating in the club comes with its own kind of perks. After completing their last round on Saturday, the team had the chance to do some sightseeing and visited the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol.

On March 5-­7, the team will be at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif., for the National Christian College Forensics Invitational.