West Bloomfield Debaters Finish as Quarterfinalists at Michigan State University National Tournament


Neil Haran

On December 4th through 6th, West Bloomfield High School’s debate team traveled to East Lansing, Michigan to compete at the prestigious Michigan State University Spartan Classic high school debate tournament. The two varsity teams that advanced consisted of Jonathan Zhang and Jinan Abufarha and Madde Husic and Neil Haran reached elimination rounds. On the first day, Madde and Neil won their round on a 3-0 decision while affirmative against East Kentwood High School’s team while Jinan and Jonathan locked-out octofinals with another West Bloomfield team consisting of Dylan Barlow and Ugochi Ndupu. Both varsity teams advanced to end the tournament as quarterfinalists while the locked-out team of Ugochi Ndupu and Dylan Barlow ended the tournament as octa finalists.

This year, the national policy debate resolution (“The United States Federal Government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance”) calls upon debaters to speak about the merits of either maintaining or curtailing current United States domestic surveillance policies. Contested areas include metadata monitoring by the National Security Agency (NSA) as well as racial surveillance of muslim populations in areas such as Dearborn Michigan. A large majority of the topic literature is motivated by the controversies that arose in the wake of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden who revealed to the international community that the United States has been systematically monitoring communications and activities worldwide.

West Bloomfield’s debate team has enjoyed a great deal of success this past with the varsity pairing of Neil Haran and Madde Husic being the first team in over eight years to attain a positive record of wins and losses at the highly-competitive University of Michigan national debate tournament. This was also the first year that the team was able to send debaters to the annual Glenbrooks national debate tournament in Illinois marking the first time that West Bloomfield debaters have traveled nationally to compete.