Organ sale legalization, World Bank imperialism, and contemporary Asian oppression. These are the topics that freshmen Nicolas Fonseca and David Min argued to become the champions in their respective debate events during the Florida Forensic League Novice State tournament this past April.
Fonseca championed Congressional Debate, an event that imitates our legislative system with students role playing Senators and debating legislation. Students write bills to be debated in preliminary sessions and the tournament releases bills for the elimination rounds. He competed in three preliminary rounds before advancing to a semi-final session where he debated two bills about banning genetically modified organisms and raising the gas tax. Then, Fonseca advanced to the final round, as one of the top 18 out of 171 competitors, where he debated legalizing the sale of human organs and then withdrawing from the World Bank.
“There were a lot of people behind me that helped me succeed. It was really humbling to feel the full faith of my varsities, coaches, and family in me throughout the tournament,” Fonseca said.
Min championed Lincoln-Douglas debate, an event that draws its namesake from the two senators who debated the morality of slavery prior to the Civil War. Lincoln-Douglas debate, abbreviated as LD, is centered upon a resolution that changes every two months. The resolution Min debated was “Resolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.” That’s not what the debates were centered on though. LD allows for debaters to bring the debate to a higher level and critique injustice in the community. Min drew upon his Asian-American heritage and spoke about why he should win the debate as a minority who experienced oppression while being expected to conform to the “model minority” paradigm. It worked. After five preliminary rounds, Double Octofinals, Octofinals, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals, Min won the final round with a unanimous decision by five judges.
“I’m ecstatic to have won and at the same time, so grateful for my team. My performance at Novice States wouldn’t have been possible without such strong support from my varsity, Senior Justin Yang,” Min said.
“Competitors from across the state brought their best, and David’s hard work and dedication helped him best them,” Yang said.
It was a successful weekend for the Heritage Speech and Debate team overall with a Declamation Semi-Finalist, Public Forum Semi-Finalist team, one additional Finalist and two Semi-Finalists in Congressional debate, and a Double Octofinalist in Lincoln-Douglas.
“We are very pleased with Nick and David championing their respective events; their countless afternoons spent at practice came to fruition this past weekend. We are also very proud of all those who participated and the varsities who came to the tournament to support them,” debate coach Matthew Gillespie said.