Policy debate team succeeds in WACFL


During a Policy debate round, most students use their laptops, papers, and pens to keep track of their opponent’s arguments and offer evidence that opposes them.

Esther Kim

On Jan. 25, members of Jefferson’s Policy debate team competed in the fourth Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensic League (WACFL) tournament. The tournament, which was held at Loudoun County High School, garnered the interest of students from various local high schools.

“WACFL 4 was my first debate,” freshman Amritha Justin said. “Because I am very engaged in politics and overseas affairs, I thought that it would be a good experience if I debated on those topics.”

Policy debate is one of the three debate programs offered at Jefferson and debates a wide range of governmental policies, theories and philosophical ideas. This year, the team debated on the United States Federal Government’s economic engagement with Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela.

“By joining Policy debate, I hoped to develop a more thorough sense of foreign as well as national affairs,” Justin said.

During the tournament, a team of two students debated four times with groups from different schools while the judge evaluated each member’s speaking skills. In the junior varsity division, sophomores Christine Li and Alison Li placed third, and in the varsity division, senior Yana Kaplun and sophomore Daniel Chae placed first. In addition, senior Richard Wang and junior Sravani Korupolu placed second in the varsity division.

By debating, students hope to broaden their awareness of current events and polish their skills in speaking.

“I will definitely continue to do debate, because I enjoy the competitive feel of debating passionately on topics that I feel are necessary for young people to know,” Justin said.