Debate Ascends to Tourney Title

Layla Wright, Staff Writer

Debate club members Krish Visht and Kevin Deng claimed the title at the Tournament of Champions (TOC) on April 8 in Ashland, Oregon.

Visht and Deng 1st teamed up in the debate club sophomore year, and shortly thereafter, won their 1st tournament. Over the 3 years of debate participation, the duo has grown close. “It’s really important to have those good relations with your parter,” Deng said.

This year’s competition involved 40 teams of debaters with 7 preliminary rounds officiated and scored by 2 judges.

Leading up to the tournament, Deng and Visht ran practice rounds prepared cases and files for potential topics. However, most of the prep work was done on the spot right before the debate. “Parliamentary [debate] is the most impromptu form of debate, which means we only get 20 mins of prep for each round. People just kinda memorize the generics very well,” said Visht.

Visht and Deng were not the only Campolindo participants in the tournament. “Besides my performance in general, I think that Campolindo did really well as a team,” said Deng.

Since the Campolindo debate club was founded 6 years ago its numbers have grown, and its performance has improved. This year the squad has been ranked #1 in the country. “We started from nothing and after having good relationships with coaches and having great access to resources, we’re able to develop our skills as debaters and as a club…” Deng said.

Junior Shannon Bonet, herself a semifinalist at the Oregon competition, agreed. “6 years ago, winning TOC was probably considered an impossible task. Even 3 years ago, the club was barely ranked within the top 20 schools much less #1 like it is today. When entering Campo, our current generation of debaters always knew there was room to improve. I think what has always been so unique about our successful teams is that each person has a personal dedication to debate and each other,” she said.

Bonet is pleased with the legacy she and her fellow seniors will be leaving behind.  “I have grown up alongside seniors Kevin, Krish, and David as they have done everything within their power to push this team to be #1 in the nation, and I’m really excited to have that legacy continue next year. The reason we succeed is not only due to great coaching and administrative support, but also because of our common goal to improve one another through character, commitment, team work, and hard work.”