Debate Club Engages in Timely Discussions


Alden Arnold

Debate Club leader Sydney Leardi ’23 and club member Jane Hurley ’23 discuss upcoming topics during the Debate Club Meeting on October 4.

Grace Rothrock, Freelance Writer

As Prep transitions back into a new school year, clubs are starting back up again. A relatively new club to Prep is the Speech and Debate Club, led by Sydney Leardi ’23. With now 48 members, the club has grown substantially since last year, as it was created during hybrid learning. The club meets about twice a month on Mondays during lunch to practice their debate skills and have thoughtful discussions on a variety of culturally relevant topics.

Mr. Kiehn is the advisor to the Speech and Debate Club. When informed by Ms. Dotsey that Leardi had the idea for the club, he was more than excited to take on the role as the advisor. Kiehn has expressed how Leardi has taken on her leadership position impressively, planning club activities and setting up meeting ideas for the coming months. While there is nothing definite, Leardi has hopes of a possible competition or showcase for the club members to share their talents.

The goal of the club is to help members exercise their speech and debate skills by discussing a variety of topics. With a more informal feel, it is meant to be a space where students can feel comfortable sharing their ideas with a group. Topics are usually decided prior to meeting times, generally stemming from the most popular debates currently happening in the nation or the world. The topics discussed in the club are meant to make students think about the bigger picture and allow them to express their diverse views and opinions on them.

Kiehn states that they are aiming to “create a fun, thought-provoking, collaborative, and friendly environment in which the participants may disagree in a constructive and respectful manner.”

Leardi’s inspiration for starting the club came from a deep appreciation for the art of language. She believes it is one of our greatest tools and an incredibly useful and valuable gift. At the end of the day, it is one thing to have profound and creative ideas, but the ability to effectively convey those ideas through public speaking is a far greater power.