The College’s Society for Parliamentary Debate, along with the New Jersey Forensics League, hosted New Jersey’s Forensic League High School Championship at the College’s campus on Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8.
The tournament consisted of debate events, specifically set in a high school debating format, for high school students involved in the New Jersey Forensics League. Nearly 700 students deriving from 30 different high schools, all across New Jersey, participated in this championship tournament, according to chief planner of the event, president of the Society for Parliamentary club Andrew Miller.
“This was their state championship, so there was a huge turnout,” said Steven Schwering, sophomore psychology and English double major and publicist for the Society Parliamentary Debate.
High school students began to arrive at the College early Friday afternoon and settled down in the Brower Student Center, where their presence filled up the majority of the building. On Friday, only a few beginner rounds took place. The tournament’s rounds continued into Saturday, with more in- depth and longer rounds.
On Saturday, during the afternoon, the “outrounds” began: octo-quarters, semi-finals and ultimately, the finals. These rounds narrowed down which teams would be participating in the finals. The debate categories consisted of 10 speech categories and three diverse kinds of debate: public forum, Lincoln Douglas and Congress.
“We are really proud of all of our members for giving up their time,” Schwering said. The entire Society for Parliamentary Debate club participated in the event, according to Schwering.
The College’s students helped ensure the success of the tournament through judging and check-ins, to simply lending a spare hand to whenever one was needed.
Not only did the College’s students help out with the State Championship tournament, but the staff of the College helped out as well.
“The staff of TCNJ were a huge help,” Schwering said.
Schwering noted that Yakima Melton, Daytime Assistant Manager of Brower Student Center, was extremely helpful not only during the setup of the event, but during the actual tournament as well.
According to Schwering, the tournament was a great achievement for the club and the event faced few errors.
“We spent over a year preparing for the tournament,” Schwering said. “(We) are really happy with how well the tournament ran.”