Written by Amanda Davis, staff writer
The Bryan College Debate Team Club provides an enticing opportunity to sharpen your mind. The team is currently not meeting regularly due to their ongoing search for a new coach, but they hope to find a coach and begin meetings and attending tournaments in either the Spring or Fall semester of 2022. The team would normally meet every Thursday evening from 7-9 PM to discuss strategy, logic and to hold mock debates. They would then test their skills by attending two or three tournaments a year.
The Bryan Debate Team is one of the oldest clubs on campus, initially starting fifteen years ago. They have historically done well at tournaments, winning multiple Nationals and State Championships as recent as last semester. The debate team is focused on fostering free-thinking and building strong communication skills. Students can take the debate club as a one-hour credit class or join it as a club. Students in the class are required to attend every meeting and tournament whereas students in the club are not.
Michael Palmer, a Professor of Communications, and the Staff Advisor for the Debate Club, helped found the current debate team and has been involved heavily ever since. He believes that debate offers a way for students to sharpen their speaking and engage in interesting conversation. Palmer states, “It’s an identifiable community at Bryan where a group will intentionally work together to hone their individual and collective thinking and speaking skills.” He is currently holding interviews for a new debate coach and hopes for the team to resume as soon as possible.
Joshua Bianchi, a senior psychology major and current captain of the debate club, believes debate encourages clear thinking and reasoning. Bianchi says, “Being able to talk about ideas and entertain them without losing your mind and without getting lost in them is a skill very few people have, and that’s one thing that debate is really good at.” According to him, “The debate team helps to create persuasive speakers to change the world through Christ.”
Daeana Barkubein, a sophomore literature major, regards debate as an effective way to build community. She believes it allows people to engage each other in new ideas in a structured environment. Barkubein states, “You have more community with people; you are able to talk about difficult things in a very safe space.” The sense of comradery formed through debate can help people truly understand all sides of an argument, according to Barkubein.
The Bryan Debate club is looking for new members and hopes to resume meetings as soon as possible. It is a learning environment that challenges students to become better thinkers and to change the world for Christ. Interested students should contact either Bianchi or Palmer for further information.
Amanda Davis is a freshman communications major at Bryan College. She is a Kansas City Native and loves reading, writing, and photography.