High school welcomes Forensic Debate Club as its new extracurricular

The Forensic Debate Team gathers for a picture as they celebrate the end of the 2020-21 season.

The Forensic Debate Team gathers for a picture as they celebrate the end of the 2020-21 season.

by Michael Taromina, Managing Editor

A new club has entered the extracurricular field at the high school: Forensic Debate Club. The Forensic Debate Club is an organization that primarily focuses on public forums as a means of competition; it is run by senior co-president Alyssa Serebrenik and junior co-president Eli Onik, as well as its advisor, Brian Greppo.

Serebrenik’s credentials as an arguer prove she is not afraid to take that debate stage, and her accomplishments prove her to be regarded as a reputable champion at it. Her dedication and devotion to the sport earned her the title of ‘Top 100 Public Forum Debaters in the World’. She plans to take her knowledge and familiarity with debate and enmanate onto the participants of the club in hopes it will ensure victories and successes at competitions.

“Eli and I mainly run the club, while the advisors have been really helpful in communicating with administration on behalf of the club and setting meetings,” Serebrenik said. “This year we have a lot more help and established a board with various titles and roles to keep the club running smoothly.”

Last year, Serebrenik and Onik established this club, but due to the unforeseen doldrums and circumstances that were endured because of Covid-19, the club did not get to meet or accomplish much of its goals. So this year, they decided to go bigger and think brighter.

“This year we have a lot of board members who are going to help facilitate the new middle and high school members of the club and get them ready for competition,” said Serebrenik.

It’s well-known that Glen Rock High School already has a debate club; however, Serebrenik mentioned that there are some key and important differences between the two.

“What Glen Rock originally had, before Forensic, was a club based on policy debate, in which there is an affirmative side that proposes a plan and a negative side that is tasked with defending either the status quo or a competitive policy. Forensic Debate Club is public forum based, in there there is a “pro” side that argues for the resolution as a whole, and a “con” side that opposes it.”

The current policy club is strictly limited to competition surrounding the North Jersey area, but the heads of the Forensic Debate Club contain connections to debate institutions around the country, stretching from California to Cambridge to Princeton and to D.C. 

Overall, the goal of the extracirruclar is to get more kids involved, a prominent reason why middle schoolers are allowed to participate, and get Glen Rock’s name out there, by participating in the national tournaments. 

“We are really focused on getting the newer high schoolers and middle schoolers to that level, where they’ll be able to compete in higher level, national debates next year,” said Serebrenik. 

Currently, the club meets on a bi-weekly basis, and meetings consist of tutorials and intensive review sessions on public forum debate, in preparation for national competitions and state tournaments.