Aaron Maiolo, AITE senior, and Michael Markman, AITE junior, talk about what move to make next in their case in the debate.
Once a month, the AITE debate team gathers for a inter-school challenge. I was lucky enough to sit in on one of the first debates of the season held within the AITE and Rippowam buildings. The schools I observed were Westhill and AITE. The topic of the debate was “Connecticut should eliminate the death penalty.” AITE’s own Aaron Maiolo and Michael Markman argued that the penalty should be eliminated, while Brian Pollack and Max Eber of Westhill argued that the death penalty should stay in place.
Walking in, the debate students were not yet aware of the topic and position they were going to defend. Even with this extra twist both teams had strong contentions. For example, Aaron said that it cost more to execute the inmates than to keep them in jail for life while Brian argued that eliminating the death penalty in other states had lead to a jump in the number of crimes committed in that state. Both teams constantly brought up the Cheshire Home Invasion and the Amanda Knox release as examples to support their sides.
Both teams took their time explaining their sides. They are given six minutes in between debates to prepare for their next argument. Westhill had used up most of their time by the end of the debate while the home school (AITE) still had six minutes left before the final portion of the debate.
Some people may wonder whether it is hard to debate for something you may not agree with? Aaron Maiolo, a senior at AITE, who was debating for the first time that day, said, “Yes. Every single argument you come up with, personal views are telling you not to use. It makes it more difficult to debate about.” Denys Reyes, fellow senior and co-captian of the AITE debate team agreed also saying “At the same time, it’s informative and fun.”
A podium proudly sits in the debate classroom, showing the winners of past debate tournaments.
So are you free next month? Looking for something fun to do on a Saturday? Sit in on a debate tournament or even better, talk to the school’s debate teacher, Mr. Morest and ask about joining the team. It won’t be something you want to miss.