Irvington students score wins at UoP speech and debate invitational

By Cathy Wang | Opinions Editor

In a three-day tournament from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, Irvington’s Speech Club and Debate Club competed in the Jon Schamber Invitational at the University of Pacific. This was the first time Irvington’s speech and debate teams went to the UOP invitational tournament. In previous years, not enough members were interested; this year, more than 30 Irvington students competed.

Senior Aditya Kaushik, president of Debate Club, and junior Michelle Huang, both Varsity Parliamentary Debate and Speech Club captain, won second place in Varsity Parliamentary Debate, beat by a Lowell High team during the final debate round on the topic of the passage of treaty to protect extraterrestrial organisms.

“We did pretty well because we managed to make it to finals out of 70 teams,” said Kaushik. “We need to work on higher level and philosophical arguments.”

Out of 33 total novice parliamentary teams at the tournament, freshmen Anirudh Maddhuri and Bilal Pandit advanced to the octofinals.

“The competition there was really tough,” said Pandit. “We tried our hardest and I believe we did pretty well.”

Huang was a semifinalist in varsity extemporaneous speech and sophomore Bhavini Lakshmanan came in fourth in Novice Oral Interpretation.

The first day of the three-day tournament consisted of five preliminary rounds. The top 16 teams within each category of speech or debate then advanced to the octafinals the following day.

Junior Michelle Huang and senior Aditya Kaushik received 2nd place trophies for their performance in Varsity Parliamentary Debate (Photo: Michelle Huang).
Junior Michelle Huang and senior Aditya Kaushik received 2nd place trophies for their performance in Varsity Parliamentary Debate (Photo: Michelle Huang).