The Debate Club Comes to Hills


Courtesy of Stock Photos

By Eunho Jung, Assistant Junior Editor

The Debate Club has come to join the plethora of clubs present at Wayne Hills. The new club has recently been granted approval by the Board of Education. Ms. Schillaci, an English teacher, has come on board as the Debate’s Club advisor. 

Senior Chai Gokhale will serve as the club’s president, with juniors Harman Kohli and Wajiha Rizvi joining as co-vice presidents. Junior Yara Shobut will serve as the secretary, with junior Hanna Hajdu as the treasurer. Eunho Jung, a senior, will act as the communications liaison. 

Chai, in her last year of high school, said she “wanted to mainly start this club as [she believes[s] that debate clubs are crucial in voicing people’s opinions and are important to boost people’s confidence.” After being virtual for almost the entirety of last year, Chai thought that the lack of face-to-face communication could potentially hinder students’ ability to communicate effectively. 

Similarly, treasurer and junior Hanna Hajdu shared that she wanted to provide a safe space for students to come to learn about the art of debate. Although Hanna does not have experience in debate, as the Co-President of the Empowerment Club, she has learned how to form organized arguments and present them in front of others. “I am most excited to get to debate with other students and see my peers’ varying perspectives and skills,” she shared. 

Unlike the other officers, Wajiha Rizvi has an illustrious background in debate. “I have been competing in Public Forum debate for around 4 years, and I have 7+ awards at the national and international level. I’ve actually been competing in overall speech and debate for around 7 years,” she explained. With the experience to bring to the table, Rizvi believes that competing for your school with your peers is a completely different experience from competing for yourself. 

Harman, who has also been competing in debate competitions, explained how the skills he has honed and nurtured while competing have helped him outside of debating as well. “I found myself more confident speaking in front of large audiences, I also realized that it helped with my abilities in quick thinking, research, writing, and my argumentative skills,” he enthusiastically shared. 

Yara Shobut, the secretary of the Debate Club, is also a member of the Circassian Youth Committee (CYC) that is part of the Circassian Benevolent Association (CBA). With the CYC, she has helped to organize Debate Nights. With this experience, Shobut wishes to “provide a space for those who have an interest in debate to do what they are passionate about while having fun.” 

With the diverse backgrounds each officer brings to the table, the Debate Club will with no doubt succeed in its future endeavors!

The first meeting of the Debate Club will be held on Tuesday, October 5th, right after school in Room 225. 

If you are interested in joining the Debate Club or want to stop by during a meeting, please join the Google Classroom with the code yi74wpi.