Club Spotlight: Speech and Debate Club

The Speech and Debate Team competed at California Lutheran University Jan 2. and Jan. 3.


Left to right: Advisor Audrey Freeman, Neev Levy, Teju Pathy, Aneesh Ankareddy, Max Freeman, Jonathan Vu, Sriram Potluri, Jake Freeman, Harman Bans (Photograph courtesy of Speech and Debate Team).

The Speech and Debate Team participated in California Lutheran University’s annual Debate Tournament Jan. 2 and Jan. 3. At the tournament, nine freshmen debated against other teams from both private and public schools.

“I love being a part of high school debate because it is the greatest equalizer; it doesn’t matter whether you are from private or public school, or if you have prior experience or not. Having intensity and ability in debate is the only true characteristic needed to be successful,” club advisor Audrey Freeman said.

We have just begun to show what this team can do,

— Max Freeman

Even though many members are first-time debaters, every member went away from the tournament with at least one individual victory.

“These members have never debated in a tournament before and they’ve already [done] so well. This just goes to show that anyone can learn to debate well in a relatively small amount of time,” freshman Speech and Debate team co-founder and co-captain Jake Freeman said.

Jake Freeman himself placed ninth in the Varsity division.

Freshmen Gaby Senderov said she was happy with how the debate team has developed thus far.

“Debate has already enhanced my overall confidence and speaking abilities, both of which are important tools in the real world. I am so honored to be a part of the newly formed Oak Park debate team this year, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to debate alongside with,” Sendorov said.

Sendorov, without any previous debating experience, advanced to quarter-finals in the Novice Division.

Jake Freeman stressed that anyone can still join the club.

“I want people to know that this club is very open and always seeking new members,” Jake Freeman said.

Freshman Speech and Debate team co-founder and co-captain Max Freeman sees a bright future for the club.

“We have just begun to show what this team can do,” Max Freeman said. “With our guidance and experience, the Debate team can advance to a noteworthy level in a matter of months.”