Debate Team hosts tournament

The Dead President’s Invitational at ETHS will see some of the best debate teams in the state.

The annual event will have three different styles of debate. The most popular style, Policy Debate, will have 180 teams competing, the topic being Ocean Policy. There will be a Public Forum debate, and the Lincoln-Douglas Debate will tackle the issues of a livable minimum wage, which means the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs.

Students are free to talk about a wide range of subjects regarding different ocean policies, like having drones in water and using offshore wind as a reliable energy source.

“We compete in all styles of debate, most high schools focus on one or two different events. We do all the styles of debate offered by the National League,” said Jeff Hannan, Debate Team Coach.

Most of the experienced debaters will be taking on the role of host as many schools come to compete. The main focus for most of the debate team will be helping and organizing the tournament. They’ll help all the schools coming in find their way around the ETHS building.

“We all make sure the tournament runs smoothly. ETHS is a big school, so outsiders have a hard time figuring out room numbers,” said Carlos Taylor, Policy Debate Captain. New debaters on the Evanston team, however, will get a chance to hone their skills on their home turf during the invitational.

The competition is to raise money for the debate team’s traveling expenses and competitions, primarily for the Harvard Tournament in February. ETHS debaters have won championships in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. 35 schools from around Illinois will be participating in this year’s Competition.


“The season is going wonderfully,” said Hannan. Taylor, Kevin Klyman,  Graham Straus, and Eric Wiene have all qualified to the National Tournament of Champions, which only accepts the top 80 students in each event.

“The Glenbrook Schools typically win the tournament because the used to be at the top of the tier for the local Illinois circuit. Overall last year’s tournament was really good, everything ran smoothly with no hiccups,” said Taylor.

“The team has over 50 members, which is the largest in its 54 year history. Last year we had a state champion in Lincoln-Douglas debate, and we were named a Debate School of Excellence by the National Speech and Debate Association, which signifies that we were among the top 20 schools at the National Championship,” said Hannan.

ETHS’s Debate teams are not your average group of debaters. “We are a diverse team. We have a large number of female students and a growing number of students of color and that tends to be unusual on debate teams,” said Hannan. “And we also kick butt.”