September 30, 2023
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Nathan Ferguson and Ryan Clifton placed first at District UIL CX Debate. Nathan was also presented with the Golden Gavel as top speaker in the district.

Debate coach Frank Recio with Cross-X District Champions Ryan Clifton and Nathan Ferguson

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, after a full day of debate, Ryan Clifton and Nathan Ferguson placed first at UIL CX District. They compete at the State level on Monday and Tuesday, March 14 and 15, the beginning of spring break.

In addition to advancing, Nathan Ferguson received the Golden Gavel, naming him the top speaker in the district.

The State Meet will be held on the University of Texas-Austin campus.

Another term for Cross-Examination Debate is Policy Debate. In policy debate competition, teams of two usually advocate for or against a resolution that calls for policy change by the United States Federal Government.

“This style of debate is a great introduction to policy-making and legal administration,” said MISD Speech and Debate coach Cristian Mora.

According to the UIL CX Debate Handbook, “…the single most important lesson of debate is the ability to see an issue from every side. The greatest product of debate is a knowledgeable advocate.”

The Handbook says that debaters learn advocacy from the ground up, focusing on how to research an issue, how to analyze research, and how to organize an argument to support their position. Debating teaches them note-taking skills, listening skills, and the ability to recognize fallacious arguments and illogical arguments.

A debater’s vocabulary will expand exponentially. Through self-criticism, students learn their strengths and weaknesses.

“So, why debate?” the Handbook asks.

The answer is: “Advocacy – being able to see an issue from all sides, to be able to put your position into an informed, logical response, and presenting all of the above with skill. After all, you are going to need to be your best advocate.”

Gail M. Williams

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent


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