On 16 and 23 July, the St Andrew’s College debaters held internal online debates to continue the 2021 season.
The debaters, now mixed in age divisions, have had to adjust to using an online platform and prepare for shorter periods to develop team cases. This exercise
has proven to be a challenge, but one the boys handled well. Speakers are beginning to learn how to construct their cases within an hour to prepare for potentially
competing in the 2021 Eastern Cape Debating Championship (ECDC). The last two debates served to help the boys ease into this form of training.
The first online debate, consisting of Elijah Sejjaaka, Aiden Wood, and Scott Ritchie in proposition against Alex Hutton, Lulo Mfaba and Guy Glossoti in opposition, was on the motion: THBT it is never acceptable to ban a book. Proposition ran the argument of free speech and the necessity of restricting governmental control and power on what ideas could be disseminated in society. In contrast, the opposition ran arguments about the necessity of restricting hate speech and why a ban can work by potentiality preventing hate crimes and incitement to violence. Proposition’s claim at the end proved stronger, as they were able to explain why the governmental abuse of such a ban would be very detrimental. They proved that hate crimes and incitement were products of other political and social motivations that are separate from instructions found in propagandistic books. The result was a unanimous win by proposition with Aiden Wood as the best speaker.
The second online debate, consisting of Elijah Sejjaaka, Aiden Wood, and Guy Glossoti in proposition against Alex Hutton, and Scott Ritchie and in opposition, was on the motion: TH supports doxing of cyberbullies. Proposition presented arguments about why such a policy would reduce the instances of cyberbullying.
The opposition challenged this line of argument by proving that the benefits of doxing were not inherent to doxing and could instead be solved with mechanisms
in the status quo such as blacklisting. Moreover, the opposition presented arguments about why doxing could be harmful to its recipients and their families.
The result was a unanimous win by the opposition with Scott Ritchie as the best speaker.
The debates so far indicate that some work is necessary regarding training. However, the boys continue to show potential and curiosity in respect of debate strategies to use. The debate practices and fixtures are set to continue until examinations commence.