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Debate team wins state championship

For the second year in a row, the Greenhills debate team has won the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association varsity championship in Public Forum Debate. 

Picture3In the final round of the MIFA Debate State Finals, held at Wayne State University last weekend, the team consisting of senior Harry Bagenstos and sophomore Aarushi Ganguly defeated a team from Cranbrook on a 3-0 decision to take the title. In the novice division of the tournament, freshmen Yusuf Mian and Arjun Purohit made it to semifinals and were named the first- and second-place speakers, respectively.

Juniors Mubarak Hassan and Drake Rosenberg also debated at the tournament, at which 99 Public Forum teams from across the state competed.

The debate team’s state championship caps off a successful fall semester. The week before the state finals, Hassan and Rosenberg won the varsity division of the Dexter Delight Tournament at Dexter High School, and Hassan was named top speaker. In the novice division at Dexter, Mian and Purohit made it to quarterfinals, and Purohit was named seventh-place speaker.

Earlier in the semester, the team won the varsity Public Forum division of the University of Michigan debate tournament, reached finals at the Pappas Invitational Tournament at Wayne State University, and made it to elimination rounds at the New York City Invitational Tournament held at the Bronx High School of Science.

This coming spring, Greenhills Debate will continue to compete in local Detroit Catholic Forensic League meets and will travel to a number of out-of-state tournaments. The team will also aim to qualify for the major national championship tournaments at the end of the school year.

Picture2For the past three years, Greenhills debaters have qualified for both the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Speech and Debate Tournament and the National Catholic Forensic League’s Grand National Tournament. And last year, the team qualified for the prestigious Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky—the first Public Forum team from Michigan ever to achieve that honor.

In the Public Forum event, two-person teams debate topics that change monthly. Topics this year have addressed such matters as South Korean anti-missile systems, universal background checks for the sale of guns, and whether Spain should grant independence to Catalonia. Participants must be prepared to debate both sides of the topic. The activity provides students an opportunity to get to know other debaters from around the state and the country, and to develop their speaking, research, writing, and analytical thinking skills.

Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

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