Debate club begins with no returning members

New team foresees challenges


Grace Farley

Park debate team head coach Paul Manning leads an open discussion about the team's current topic, civil disobedience.

Abby Intveld and Emma Kempf

Junior Wyatt Gann said while looking forward to all new members, the inexperience could put the debate team at a disadvantage.

“There won’t be returning students to mentor the new members and provide personal experience and advice,” Gann said. “Hopefully (new members) can set the foundation for the future of the club.”

Debate team head coach Paul Manning said the new debate team creates different opportunities for him as a coach.

“Having this team with no returners offers the chance for me to teach the whole team debate strategies from scratch, which is actually really helpful in the end,” Manning said.

Sophomore Matthew Loftus said despite no returning members, he doesn’t think the team will be at a disadvantage.

“I don’t think our completely new team will be a big challenge and I think we’ll do great,” Loftus said.

Manning said he is focusing on building a sustainable team and teaching students listening strategies.

“We really need to learn how to listen as a team, but also as a community,” Manning said. “The more we understand what the other is saying, the more we can begin to address problems that matter to everyone.”

According to Manning, debate team meetings are every Monday and Wednesday after school in room B322.