Dynamic Debate Duo: Emily Liu (‘20) and Ananya Rajesh (‘20)

The two senior captains of the BC Debate team share experiences working together for four years


Photo shared by Emily Liu

Emily Liu (‘20) and Ananya Rajesh (‘20) at a Debate Meet

For debate team captains Emily Liu (‘20) and Ananya Rajesh (‘20), this school year proved to be an incredibly successful debate season. Both Liu and Rajesh, now seniors, have been debating since freshman year and have competed as a duo (or as a team) since sophomore year. They found their success in a type of debate known as “public forum debate,” in which the two compete together at tournaments, and alternate speakers during rounds.

Besides their personal proficiency in debate, one of the captain’s greatest successes this debate season was “reviving and expanding the club’s membership and participation,” Liu stated. “Last year, only two teams attended state, including Ananya and I, which was disheartening. When we assumed roles as captains, Ananya and I were determined to recruit new members and bring more people to state; this year, an astounding 9 teams were able to qualify for state.”

Working as a team provides many benefits during debate competitions. Liu and Rajesh are able to help one other perform to the best of their abilities and support each other during rounds. “Working as a collective debate team allows us to bounce ideas and sources off of each other when preparing for a topic,” shared Liu. “During rounds, Ananya is great at condensing the major arguments in the round … which I’m then able to extend [upon]… and boil the round down to clear impacts in final focus. We both make sure to speak assertively in order to convey confidence and persuasiveness without sounding too aggressive.”

Rajesh and Liu, debate members since freshman year, have enjoyed a successful season. Through their dedication the past four years, their love for debate is shown, as Liu expressed; “I love the controversy in [the] topics and how debate forces you to acknowledge and rationalize both sides of the resolution.” Together, as a team, they have been able to achieve much. (add examples of awards/achievements here.) The effect of the captain’s hard work and effort, by growing the debate program at Central and guiding more debate team members to state, will leave an impact on debate members for many years to come.