Rocky Speech and Debate

Kyrie Capezza, Reporter

As the school year is ending, students have been wondering what to do next year as far as extra-curricular activities. For many, the idea of joining extracurriculars with no knowledge of what they are like can be intimidating. Here at Rocky, debate members are sharing their stories and advice for curious debate lovers. 

Long time debate team member, Jacob Hiersekorn suggests students consider checking out the debate team. “Don’t hesitate. Come and check it out. There’s no harm in doing that,” Hiersekorn assures students interested in joining the team that there is no need to commit to it if it doesn’t work out. 

“There’s no required commitment if you want to come to a team night. It is a lot of fun. Don’t get intimidated by how much information there is, because people will walk you through it.”  

Marisol Whynman, a freshman on the debate team, describes her experience on the debate team and how it has changed her life.  

“It’s added more to my life,” said Whynman. “It has given me more knowledge about the world. It better impacted how I research questions, better influenced my speech and how I talk, and I honestly feel smarter.”  

While Whynman expresses her experience on the debate team as a positive one, it was not without challenges. “You do have to develop thick skin because with our debate team we really try to drill into each other’s cases. Honestly, we’re just trying to help.”  

When asked what she would say to those interested in joining the team, Whynman suggests they look past their “initial judgements” of what debate is “all about.” 

“While it may be scary to argue with people, it’s more about informing people. It’s very different than what people may think it is. It’s very different than what I thought it was going to be,” Whynman said. 

Senior on the debate team, Allie Hampton, emphasizes the importance of the sentiment “It is what you make it,” urging newer members of the debate team to commit themselves despite it being intimidating.  

“I think they should be prepared to commit themselves to something,” said Hampton. “I think that the really cool thing about speech and debate is that you make the experience that you have, but sometimes that’s hard when people are shy, and they don’t want to.”  

Hampton compares the debate team to school sports. “If you play a sport at Rocky you have to come to every practice and game, and with speech and debate you have just a little more control over your own schedule,” Hampton said. “I think that people should expect a little bit more to commit themselves to it.” 

The Debate Team holds team nights Tuesday and Thursday nights, and more information can be found through visiting and watching long time team members at work.