On Dec. 4 and 5, Minnehaha Academy debaters competed in the Minnesota Classic Debate Championship at South Saint Paul High School. The tournament constituted the debaters’ fourth tournament on the resolution: Resolved, the European Union should require all of its member states to significantly increase the number of refugees they accept and resettle.
Senior Alex Fedje-Johnson and junior Meena Morar went undefeated over the course of the two-day tournament to win the tournament at the varsity level and finish 8-0.
During the final round, over 120 spectators watched the debaters.
“The atmosphere around the final round was incredible,” said Fedje-Johnson.
“Normally you don’t debate in front of more than two or three people, so getting the opportunity to debate in front of more than 100 was pretty special. The stakes were definitely higher, and I enjoyed the added pressure.”
Juniors Madeleine Debele and Kenny Kiratli made it to the semifinals, tying for third place out of 53 JV teams.
Also at the JV level, senior Kevin Cox was the second ranked speaker out of 106 individual competitors; Kiratli was fifth.
Fedje-Johnson, Morar and senior Alexandra Wilson received All State awards for their performance at the varsity level throughout the season, with Wilson named as top scorer for the season.
“This debate topic was unique in that we were not debating an issue from the perspective of the United States,” said debate coach Nathan Johnson.
“It took some work to understand things from the perspective of the European Union. There was quite a bit of misunderstanding along the way, particularly regarding how the EU operates and what it can and cannot do. However, since this topic contained such a strong element of human compassion that transcends political boundaries, we were able to debate it well anyway.”