James Strom Thurmond was a United States Senator representing South Carolina for 48 years. He was also senior Hamza Rashid’s persona during the New York City Invitational Round Robin Oct. 17. Round Robins are prestigious speech and debate pre-tournament competitions in which the top competitors in the nation are invited to compete in. Rashid was selected to represent Heritage in Congressional Debate.
The New York City Invitational Round Robin featured a historical scenario. Rashid debated the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, role playing as Thurmond, an actual senator from the time period. He spoke out against going to war in Vietnam, citing impacts upon his South Carolinian constituents and how communism would simply spread elsewhere. He later advocated for democratization of the area in a non-violent method.
“I went in knowing that I was facing the No. 1 ranked Congressional Debater in the nation, which is a really stressful thing considering that I’m number two in the nation. I knew it’d pretty much be a battle to see who could claim the throne of champion,” Rashid said.
At the award ceremony, Rashid came out on top, winning the New York City Invitational Round Robin and bringing the championship trophy home to Heritage.