While We’re on the Topic: Speech and debate concludes successful season


Minna Siddiqui

Chloe Phelps (junior) and Minna Siddiqui (senior) proudly stand with their Speech and Debate competition trophy

Caroline Lowe, News Guest Writer

For the first time in school history, the Speech and Debate team talked their way to a first-place regional finish with a win over Atkins at the Piedmont Environmental Alliance Earth Day Fair. The match, which served as the final round of the tournament hosted by the Wake Forest Debate Team, was centered around whether online shopping should be banned or not. Senior Minna Siddiqui and junior Chloe Phelps represented West, but the whole team helped in preparation for the tournament.
“All the participants in our club collaborated through shared Google Docs and research, writing down any point we could think of, so with everyone’s help and time management, preparation wasn’t difficult,” Siddiqui said.
The tournament was set up in rounds, giving teams the ability to earn points and secure a spot in the final debate. Teams were guaranteed the chance to debate both sides of the topic, but a coin toss before each round would determine which stance they would be taking.
“Not knowing exactly what you’ll be arguing until right before is definitely scary, but we luckily had enough time to prepare solid points for both sides of the debate so we were confident no matter which side we got,” Phelps said.
Even though the team is losing five seniors this year, club sponsor Stuart Egan remains confident in the team’s potential for next year.
“We had four freshmen in the tournament this year, so we just need to keep the momentum going and keep repeating the success. This is the first year we’ve won the whole tournament, but I definitely believe we can do it again next year,” Egan said.
Many of this year’s seniors have been a part of the club all throughout high school and believe that the club will have a lasting impact on their lives.
“The experience and knowledge that I’ve gained over the past few years will keep guiding me and I’ve learned so many skills to help with my public speaking and confidence,” Siddiqui said.