Debate team pays to become an official sport


Due to COVID-19, the Westminster debate team has recently found itself with a surplus of money. The budget that normally would have been allocated toward travel to various competitions is now unused because all competitions have transitioned to Zoom. As a result, the team has decided to put the surplus toward a cause it believes will change the face of the debate landscape: branding itself as a sport. 

Incredibly effective at arguments, the debaters constructed a list of arguments aimed at the administration for their subsequent approval as a sport. As the speed at which they spoke was almost impossible to decipher for the average ear, the team later released a transcript listing out their points. 

“If golf is a sport, debate should be, too,” said Holland Bald, senior debater who watched ESPN accidentally once. “That’s why I quit tryouts for the golf team. Because I wanted to focus on my debate career. Not because I was about to get cut or anything.”

As a result of their arguments, the team has put forth a series of demands for how their money should be allocated and the subsequent changes in policy necessary for the transition from activity to sport. WCAT is scheduled to release their hype video in a schoolwide email within the next few days. 

“They’ve taken shots of us doing all the everyday activities of a debater,” said professional argument-maker Ben Sayers. “It’s been great to have the camera follow us while we do really cool things like organize papers, look on the internet, and talk.” 

However, this branding move has drawn controversy from already established sport teams within Westminster. 

“Last week, I saw them arguing with a janitor about being able to use the scoreboards to project their speeches,” said junior Helen Moseley. “Why are they doing this? No, literally. Like what’s the point?”

The debaters, however, believe strongly that this change is necessary for the progression of the club. 

“Not that we’re not already the coolest kids in the school, but branding ourselves as a sport would definitely increase our reputation around school,” said Bald. “I’ve seen Mean Girls; I know how these things work.” 

Due to these strong arguments and their freedom with their newfound budget, the debate team was given permission to move forward with their plan to emphasize their physical presence as a sporting team. As a result, they have begun to commandeer spots within Westminster that would normally be allocated only for our athletic students. 

“We’re really excited about our new spots in the weight room, using our new vocal coaches to replace the rowing machines, which will definitely solidify us as an up-and-coming sport,” said Sayers. “We already win more than half the teams there anyway.”

Moving forward, the team has signed with Adidas to include the debate team on their official merchandise for the school. The team plans to commission sweatshirts, sweatpants, and t-shirts for the entire group. 

“When Westminster asked me to make a bunch of new clothing for the debate team, I can honestly say I felt nothing,” said an official Adidas representative who wished to remain anonymous. “I mean, it’s really no big deal.” 

For the final step in their plan to impress upon the school that they qualify as a sport, the debate team has commissioned a professional photographer to take action shots of the seniors to line the halls of Turner.  Students can now see the speakers in dramatic poses: computers out, mouths open, eyes angry. 

“It’s almost scary to see them yelling at you when you’re just trying to get to the gym,” said Moseley. “They even have it so the pictures go from the ceiling to the floor, so there are these huge giants screaming at you as you walk.”

As the final part of their project, the debate team has submitted a formal request to use the new locker rooms for their personal debating needs. This last aspect of their grand plan, however, does confuse some students. 

“I, of course, need the locker rooms to prepare for my upcoming soccer recruitment at Yale.” said senior Noah Beck. “What are they going to do with the rooms? Put their suits on the hooks?”

“We’ve got to store our superior laptops and papers in a secure location, obviously,” said Bald. “Using the new locker room space, we now have the chance to really spread out our papers; it’s going to change the organizing game, for sure.” 

Many students wonder how this branding will affect other non-athletic clubs, like Model UN, Mock Trial, or even the Math “team”. Whatever the case may be, the debate team is excited for the move forward. 

“Get ready, Westminster,” said Sayers. “The debate team’s gonna be cooler than 0 Kelvin.”