Debate Season Starts Off Strong


Photo by Aoife Hopkins

Seniors Patrick Survis and Sebe Shearer prepare trophies for the tournament. This event is hosted at Austin high and is co run by the Model UN classes.

Austin High’s debate team hosted its annual Stephen F. Austin Speech and Debate tournament (SFASD) on October 25th and 26th. The two-day long competition included some of the highest-ranking debate students in the area. Although Austin High students didn’t participate directly in the competition, they did work to keep the event organized.

One of those students is sophomore Praxis Faloon, a previous first-place winner at the Hays Speech and Debate tournament. While not participating, his actions were still necessary to keep the event in order.

“On the first day, I was sort of a general guide,” Faloon said. “I was helping people to their rooms and doing odd jobs. On Saturday I helped run Extemp, which is a speech event, and I helped at the judge and registration table,”

Along with the many other schools in attendance for the debate tournament, the Austin High Model United Nations class was also present at the tournament, although for a different reason.

“My whole thing was setting up and being prepared to sell concessions to the debaters at the tournament this weekend,” Model UN teacher Ralph Miller said.

While not directly involved with the process of debating or planning, the concessions were a beneficial activity for the Austin High Model UN class.

“The funds will help defray the cost of the charter bus and hotel in San Antonio, which is an expensive part of our Model UN San Antonio (MUNSA) trip,” Miller said.

Much of the planning that went into the tournament was considered a success. Along with the Model UN making money for their trip, the debate team also accomplished something big.

“We ended on time which is unheard of for debate. Usually, debates are like two hours late, but we were totally on time. I think it was really effective planning and really effective preparation,” Faloon said.

While the debate team had the most influence, the school as a whole benefited from the two-day long tournament it hosted.

“I think this tournament is going to help the whole school seem a little more prestigious,” Faloon said.