High school debaters discuss the upcoming Presidential debate - Tucson News Now

High school debaters discuss the upcoming Presidential debate

Sylvia Zarnescu, member of the Catalina Foothills debate team, and Meena Venkataramanan, the President of Catalina Foothills debate team. (Source: Tucson News Now) Sylvia Zarnescu, member of the Catalina Foothills debate team, and Meena Venkataramanan, the President of Catalina Foothills debate team. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Monday night's Presidential debate is expected to draw 100 million television viewers, the most ever for a debate.
 
But many people call it more theatrics, rather than a pure debate.
 
In some ways that’s likely true. The moderator is one big difference. A single judge rather than millions of voters as judges may be another.
 
But in many ways, the Presidential debates mirror a typical high school debate.
 
“Theatrics certainly play a part,” said Meena Venkataramanan, the President of Catalina Foothills debate team. “I don’t think its necessarily the same as we debate but it is a debate.”
 
Both sides are trying to make their points and doing “that is the best manner possible,” she said.
 
Sylvia Zarnescu, also a member of the team agrees debates “take many forms.”
 
Both said they are anxious to watch the debates and will pay special attention to whether style or substance carries the day.
 
“Because presentation is such a big part of the debate, I think theatrics will commence,” she said. “There needs to be some judgment and some say to discern pure theatrics from logical reasoning.”
 
That she believes will be the job of the moderator. Still, neither believes the moderator should carry the load.
 
“I do think it’s important to give the candidates some autonomy with respects to how they interact with each other because that reveals who they are as people,” Venkataramanan said.
 
As far as the Presidential debate, Zarnescu, said she expects some fireworks but hopes, as in high school debates, “some people will call you out.”
 
Subjects, which may require that include “lying, or being misogynist, racist or ablest.”
 
“I should be more about the arguments rather than attacks on a person,” she said.
 
Both agree that over embellishment should not be tolerated in the Presidential debates, any more than they would in a high school debate.
 
“There are penalties for that,” she said.
 
There will likely be some of that during the debates, but it may be a few weeks before anyone knows if there will be any penalties paid.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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