Debate Team Among Nation’s Best


Claire Mueller, Staff Writer

Depending with whom you speak, the debate team is either ranked 1st or 3rd in the country following its National Parliamentary Debate Invitational (NPDI) tournament on November 12-13 at UC Berkeley.

“I was first like ‘Yay! Thank God!’ because Campolindo ended 3rd last year, but right now that number is actually skewed, so we’re actually 3rd again. That number will change, I promise! But, for right now, we’re still bumped down to third,” said sophomore Shannon Bonet.

“At the beginning of the year, we were 1st. It’s just after the last tournament that we were bumped down. We didn’t send as many teams, but we did incredibly well at the previous tournament, so we were still maintaining our place, but the thing is none of these placements are concrete until the end of the year. So, all of the point systems alternates with every single tournament,” Bonet explained.

Debate Club president Austen Li said, “There is a ranking system based on point of information on a website called, and that’s how we find out what ranking we are in the nation. They rank each team based on how well they do at each invitational, and how far they get in elimination rounds.”

There were clues that Campolindo’s squad was on track for a big performance at the recent tournament. “I wasn’t surprised,” said junior Krish Visht. “We’re a pretty dominant school in our league, obviously, but when we noticed that all of our varsity teams that we had put in our division had broken, and were going into elimination rounds, that’s when we really realized that it was going to be a good day.”

“Campolindo won the tournament sweepstakes, which means that Campolindo had the most wins throughout the tournament. 6 Campolindo teams broke, which means they went forward into the elimination rounds,” explained Bonet.

Li enjoyed the opportunity afforded by the tournament. “NPDI is a special tournament because it’s run by the Cal Parli team, so it’s like college-level parliamentary debate, which is the type of debate we at Campolindo participate in. The type of debate is also very technical, which is what the Campolindo team is taught to do, and it makes NPDI very enjoyable. They run a really efficient tournament, so it’s really on-time.” Li said. “A lot of different teams from around the area come to that tournament, so it’s an opportunity to see your friends from many different schools.”

Bonet liked having the Campolindo coaches there to support the team. “All 3 of our coaches are currently going to UC Berkley, so they usually don’t go to tournaments with us, because it’s usually not possible with all our scheduling and them being college students. But for this tournament, one of our coaches actually ran the tournament, so it was really great just to see them there and have them supporting us, because we don’t get that very often and so having them there and having that support really helped bring us through.”

Visht is counting on the Cougars to hold onto, or reclaim, the nation’s top ranking. “As soon as we start with the spring season, and we start sending more teams to more tournaments, I’m pretty confident that we’ll regain our spot.”