Dripping Springs High School junior debaters Max Bibeau and Griffen Smith placed first and second, respectively, at the UIL 5A Region Congress Meet in November and have earned the right to advance to the state tournament Jan. 9-10. The state meet will be held at the University of Texas.
Congress is one of several types of competition in high school debate. It is an individual contest in a large group setting that models the legislative process of democracy, specifically, the United States Congress. Within this mock legislative assembly competition, contestants draft legislation (proposed laws and position statements) submitted to the tournament, and they research the docket of bills and resolutions dealing with real-world social and political policies prior to the contest to prepare their speeches.
At the tournament, students caucus in committees, deliver formal discourse on the merits and disadvantages of each piece of legislation, and vote to pass or defeat the measures they have examined. Parliamentary procedure forms structure for the discourse, and students extemporaneously respond to others’ arguments over the course of a session.