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Seniors Strauss, Kandiel & Yoo earn debate awards

Seniors+Ryan+Strauss%2C+Zak+Kandiel+and+GaHyun+Yoo+show+off+their+awards+won+at+the+North+Bergen+tournament.
Seniors Ryan Strauss, Zak Kandiel and GaHyun Yoo show off their awards won at the North Bergen tournament.

Seniors Ryan Strauss, Zak Kandiel and GaHyun Yoo show off their awards won at the North Bergen tournament.

Photo Credit: Ryan Strauss

Photo Credit: Ryan Strauss

Seniors Ryan Strauss, Zak Kandiel and GaHyun Yoo show off their awards won at the North Bergen tournament.

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Becton’s debate team has had many recent successes, both at home and at Yale’s 2016 Session of Model Congress.

The Model Congress session took place from December 1 through 4 and is an attempt to simulate the Congress of the United States as best it can. Students are first divided up into either Red House, Red Senate, Blue House, Blue Senate, Purple House or Purple Senate. From there, they are broken up into committees, with each committee pertaining to one type of information or field of knowledge. It was important for the students to research the committees that they were placed in so that they would be able to familiarize themselves with topics, constitutional policies, laws, or amendments that might come up in the meetings. Each student was responsible for writing a bill that pertained to the committee that they were placed into. It would then be their job to “introduce” their bill at one of their committee meetings. From there, they would give a speech to their committee discussing the merits of their bill and why it should pass through the committee. If appropriate, the other members would be able to make amendments to the bill that they felt it needed, and it would be up to the author if it would immediately go into the bill or if it would need to be debated on before voted on.

Each student was responsible for writing a bill that pertained to the committee that they were placed into. It would then be their job to “introduce” their bill at one of their committee meetings. From there, they would give a speech to their committee discussing the merits of their bill and why it should pass through the committee. If appropriate, the other members would be able to make amendments to the bill that they felt it needed, and it would be up to the author if it would immediately go into the bill or if it would need to be debated on before voted on.

Every one of Becton’s students presented their bills and of the nine students attending, six of them had their bills passed through their committee, most of them with little to no amendments needed.

Additionally, Senior Ryan Strauss won the award for Best Legislation in the Red Senate Intelligence Committee. His bill was an act to limit domestic surveillance on groups that currently are surveilled due to calling religion a predisposition to commit a crime, something which Strauss argued was a violation of every citizen’s first amendment rights. Strauss expressed how honored he was to win the award, saying that he hoped he would be able to translate the results into another award at Becton’s next Model Congress at the University of Pennsylvania in March. 

If Becton’s success is any gauge of their proficiency, I have nothing but high hopes for Penn.”

— Mr. Carr

Becton Debate Coach Mr. Carr stated how happy he was with the results of this year’s Yale Model Congress, saying there were, “Great kids, great weather and great food.” The Debate adviser said that the could not be happier and that the whole trip went as well as he could have hoped. “These kids were the reason I was so excited and motivated,” he said. As mentioned previously, members of the Becton Debate Team will be heading to the University of Pennsylvania for another Model Congress from March 30 to April 2.

“If Becton’s success is any gauge of their proficiency,” Mr. Carr continued, “I have nothing but high hopes for Penn.”

As mentioned previously, members of the Becton Debate Team will be heading to the University of Pennsylvania for another Model Congress from March 30 to April 2. “If Becton’s success is any gauge of their proficiency,” Mr. Carr continued, “I have nothing but high hopes for Penn.”

Deposits of $100 are due December 16, and for those who do not believe that they will be able to come, there are also applications for financial aid. Currently, there are eight spots for girls and four spots for boys, and they are only available on a first come first serve basis. Mr. Carr expressed that he preferred people who have some experience in debate, but noted that it was not too late to get involved in debate before Penn Model Congress in March.

Becton’s debate team also won big at the North Bergen tournament in late November. Senior Team Ryan Strauss and Zak Kandiel brought home their second trophy of the year, winning second place with a powerful record. Also, Varsity Judge GaHyun Yoo won accolades at the tournament and was recognized as Best Judge for her supervision and judging at the tournament. Junior GaHyun was overjoyed at the win and attributed it all to Mr. Carr. “He truly helped me to grow as a judge. Compared to many of the other afterschool activities I have been a part of, I have never felt I was a part of a family the way I do in debate.”

Captains Ryan Strauss and Zak Kandiel also expressed how proud they were of GaHyun, and said that her win showed it was never too late to get involved. Kandiel stated, “GaHyun only started judging for us this year, and over the span of four tournaments she is already one of our most valuable members.”

Mr. Carr said he could not be more proud of his team and has nothing but high hopes for the months and years to come.

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Seniors Strauss, Kandiel & Yoo earn debate awards