Debate leaders gain perspective

Kelsye White, Staff Reporter

Debate presidents juniors Varika Pinnam, Layan Safi, and Twinkle Patel have been on the debate team since sophomore year. Pinnam, Patel, and Safi have achieved many things while being on the team.

Pinnam won 2nd and 3rd speaker in her chamber as best Presiding Officer. ”I was happiest about winning the 3rd place speaker award because it was at my very first tournament. I was extremely nervous and definitely not confident at all about speaking in front of others, but somehow, I did it and kept giving more speeches and questioning. I actually had a friendly competition with another student in my chamber, and I was really happy about that first win,” Pinnam said.

A few of Safi’s achievements were getting a perfect score on a speech last tournament, ranking twelfth by her parliamentarian at the Glenbrooks national tournament, and getting the highest number of points last tournament. “It has felt great each time I increase my average or rank higher than a debater who competes in the national circuit year round,” Safi said.

Patel has won many awards at debate tournaments such as winning first place in her chamber, and she won Best Presiding Officer. “It felt great to be called up for awards because it proves that all the hard work paid off,” Patel said.

The debate team has changed the way Pinnam, Patel, and Safi are as people. Safi stated that, “I am now a person that can hold an intelligent conversation with another.” Pinnam and Safi have become comfortable with speaking in front of others.

Patel said, “In addition, debate also helps shed light on both sides of a topic. It develops a greater understanding of why people think the way they do.”

They also believe that the debate team has changed their perspective on life. Pinnam said, “As far as my perspective on life, debate makes you really aware of the issues around the world, so not only did it made me more knowledgeable but it also gave me the ability to look at and analyze things beyond the surface level.”