In January of 2019, the new resolution for debate was announced: “The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.” Over the summer, Jesuit debaters attended a variety of summer camps across the country to help them get a jump start on the season and hang out with fellow debaters.
Dartmouth Debate Institute (DDI)
From July 7th to August 3rd, seniors Adam Hall ’20 and Garrett Nagorzanski ’20 traveled to Dartmouth to participate at the Dartmouth Debate Institute (DDI) for four weeks. There, they focused hard on research into the resolution and had fun doing various things on campus.
When asked about their overall camp experience, both debaters responded positively, Hall ’20 saying “My overall camp experience was pretty good. It was great to work with such experienced lab leaders and get a wide variety of perspectives. The lectures in particular gave me in-depth topic and debate knowledge.” and Nagorzanski ’20 saying “Camp was alright. I was glad a lot of competitive teams went to DDI which made for great lab discussions and practice debates, but I was not a fan of staying up ’til 4 working on the Egypt AFF.”
Regarding this year’s camp experience compared to previous years, Hall ’20 said “I think last year’s camp experience was more fun because I was getting a fresh experience of Dartmouth.” and Nagorzanski ’20 said “Winning the tournament was better than losing in the first round of elims for sure. But the people I met at Gonzaga two years ago were fantastic and some of my favorite people in debate.”
Hall and Nagorzanski’s hard work paid off in the end as they placed 10th seed out of the approximately 50 teams that competed and eventually won the camp tournament, earning Jesuit an additional camp tournament win.
Gonzaga Debate Institute (GDI)
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the four-week program at the Gonzaga Debate Institute (GDI) began on June 30th for three Jesuit juniors: Jack Martin ’21, Joshua Ramos ’21, and Justin Burns ’21.
With Jack and Joshua returning to the GDI for their second time, and Justin having similar experience at UTNIF, the juniors were ready to take on the competition. When asked about their overall camp experience, Burns thought the experience was “pretty good overall.” Martin expressed a similar sentiment, saying “My camp experience was great; I got to meet a lot of new friends and enjoy a lot of competitive success at the camp tournament which really helped me see all of the progress I’d made over the four weeks of camp.”
When asked about which camp experience was better, both Burns and Martin thought that this year was much better than last year, Burns asserting “It was definitely better. I learned way more about debate and arms sales.” and Martin saying “I enjoyed this year much more since I was able to get a lot more out of it as a rising junior.”
Along with the four-week camp that went on, the GDI two-week camp started on July 14th with two second-year Jesuit debaters in attendance: Chris Martin ’20 and Aarin Jain ’22.
Both debaters had a great first year of debate camp, Martin ’20 saying “My camp experience this summer was good. I met a lot of new people and made a lot of new friends. I debated with and against people from all around the country as well as some people from Dallas. I learned a lot of things about debate that I will hopefully be able to incorporate into this upcoming season.” Jain ’22 also reflected on his experience, saying “I thought that this year was very insightful and that it provided me with plenty of information that will be very useful for this upcoming debate season. I really enjoyed the new friends and contacts that I made over the summer.”
The four-week camp and the two-week camp both ended on July 28th with a camp tournament from July 25th-27th. With each debater going 4-2 or better, all Jesuit debaters found success- Martin ’20 and his partner were seeded 16th, Jain ’22 and his partner were seeded 3rd, and the team of Martin ’21 and Ramos ’21 was seeded 2nd. While Martin lost in the first round to the top seed, Jain and his partner made it to the semi-finals, and Martin and Ramos won the camp tournament.
Georgetown Debate Institute (GDS)
From June 16th to July 5th, Ethan Williams ’21 traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Georgetown Debate Seminar (GDS). Placing himself in a new environment, Williams focused hard on research alongside many other top debaters from around the country.
When asked about his camp experience, Williams ’21 said “My overall camp experience was pretty good, I met a lot of cool new friends from other schools all around the country as well as some people from here in The Metroplex.”
While Williams ’21 had an enjoyable experience this year, when asked about this year’s camp versus last year’s, he preferred last year’s, saying “I liked my experience at Gonzaga a little bit more than Georgetown for a few reasons, but the main one was that I had a better time with my friend at GDI than at GDS. Secondly, there was not a camp tournament which was kind of disappointing. Thirdly, you had to walk a lot which is kind of exhausting.”
University of Texas Debate Camp (Mean Green Comet Debate Camp)
While the other debaters traveled across the nation for camp, Gabriel Skariah ’21 stayed local, attending the University of Texas Debate Camp (Mean Green Debate Camp) from June 30th to July 10th.
When asked about this year’s camp, Skariah said “My camp experience was informative and was a great introduction to this year.” He explained that he believed that “if I went to GDI, my experience would have been a lot better”, showing his preference for last year’s camp over this year’s.
In the camp tournament, Skariah received top speaker and achieved 5th place with his partner.
Expectations for this Season
After an arduous summer of debate camp, the Jesuit debate team is expecting their season to start out strong. When asked about her expectations for the upcoming season, Dr. McFarland said, “The success of our debaters- Garrett and Adam winning the Dartmouth workshop tournament and Joshua and Jack winning the Gonzaga workshop tournament- hopefully gave them a good dose of confidence going into this season. I am looking forward to helping the debaters to accomplish their goals, both individual and collective.”
The individual debaters are looking forward to the upcoming season. Our senior debaters, Adam Hall ’20 and Garrett Nagorzanski ’20, both have high goals in mind, Hall saying “I am looking forward to a competitive and successful year and learning more about arms sales.” and Nagorzanski said “I look forward to attending more tournaments and continuing to improve my researching and speaking. I’m also really excited to work with Mr. Pointer and Bennett Harrison.”
The junior debaters, entering another year into varsity debate, have varied goals. Martin ’21 wants to balance both the commitment of debate and the challenges of junior year, saying “My goals this year are to break to elims at the state tournament and keep debate balanced out with school.” The other debaters have more specific goals in mind: Williams ’21 singular goal is to “qualify for state”, Skariah ’21 hopes to “win state”, and Burns ’21 hopes to “talk about nuclear war and international relations.”
This year also marks a transition for last year’s novices as Martin ’20 and Jain ’22 go into their first official year of varsity. When asked about their goals for this year, Jain ’22 said “I am looking forward to winning more debates and thoroughly engaging with the other side to properly debate their arguments and learn more about the resolution” and Martin ’20 said “My goals this year are to qualify for the state tournament, but I am also looking forward to debating at a higher level and traveling to some national tournaments.”
After an interesting and productive year of summer debate camp, the Jesuit debate team is more than ready to start the season. Stay tuned in to The Roundup to keep up to date with Jesuit debate!