West Bloomfield High School’s debate team hosted its 12th annual Policy Debate Invitational tournament on September 18th and 19th. Debaters from 5 Michigan schools (Groves, Mona Shores, H.H. Dow, Detroit Country Day, and University Prep) competed to qualify for the tournament’s elimination rounds. This year, the policy debate resolution requires the affirmative teams to advocate that, “the United States Federal Government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance.” This requires debaters to engage controversial policies such as the NSA revelations that have blown up in the wake of Edward Snowden leaking details about the worrying reach of government surveillance. Other policy areas include foreign intelligence, Drones legislation, and encryption laws. However, some debaters chose not to debate about governmental policies. Instead, they explored “critical” interpretations of the resolution where they debated about race, gender, colonialism, islamophobia, and dozens of other topics. In the final round of the tournament, a team from University Prep competed against a team from Groves High School. The affirmative, Tierra Colvin and Tamara Morrison of University Prep chose to debate in this critical style by interrogating the racist and sexist forms of surveillance that form the stereotype of the “welfare queen.” Their competitors from Groves High School debated about American colonialism. On a 2-1 decision from a panel of three judges, the affirmative team from University Prep won the invitational.