There is No Debate When it Comes to Community

There is No Debate When it Comes to Community

By: Noah F. '25

One of the words that I believe most describes STS is community. The close-ties and overarching feeling of community at STS can be described as nothing short of extraordinary. Although there are many amazing things from my time at STS so far, the things I will remember the most are the people I have met.

This feeling of community is certainly carried over to, and evident within, the Debate Club. For both of the years I’ve been at STS, I’ve participated in debate and plan to continue. I really love debate for a lot of reasons and many of the skills I’ve learned in the club are very relevant and useful in other classes, but one of the things that I most enjoy about debate is the almost palpable sense of community. Debate is done in partnerships of two people, but we spend most of our time preparing for debates

as a group. It is really amazing what can be accomplished as a group. Everyone has a different angle on every issue, which opens up so many possibilities of ideas that can be brought forth and utilized. It is truly astonishing to see what people will come up with, and how well they and others are able to work these ideas into cohesive arguments.

Another great example of the strong community in the Debate Club is the supportiveness. Last year, only one partnership advanced to the provincial debate tournament. Instead of just completely abandoning debate now that their commitment was over, everyone continued coming to meetings to help the team prepare. It was so great to see everyone rally around their peers and it showcased our strong sense of team. When my partner and I advanced to the provincial tournament this year, the exact same thing happened. Everyone tried to help out in one way or another. Some offered to share their notes and arguments with us in case we missed anything, and others shared the counter arguments they encountered so that we would be more ready going into the tournament.

This year was special for another reason though. To prepare for the provincial debate tournament, my partner and I were very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with STS alumna Chelli Shapiro ’19 who had participated in debate when she attended STS. I thought, and continue to think, that this is truly extraordinary. I find it amazing that even though she wasn’t actively participating in the debate club, she was still willing to give her time and help. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity and learned so much from Chelli. The fact that the spirit of community remains in people even beyond graduating from STS is absolutely incredible and is a testament to the power of community at STS.