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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Seniors revive century-old Debate Society

Every X-block in room 236, seniors Elliot Stolyarov and Yuval Levy lead a once-defunct casual debate environment: the Debate Society.

As seniors Elliot Stolyarov and Yuval Levy shuffled through old yearbooks, they discovered the Debate Society, a club founded over 100 years ago. They knew little about the club and discovered it had quickly disappeared since its founding in 1922. This year, the two seniors revived the club and put a modern twist on the ancient Debate Society.

Levy and Stolyarov started the Debate Society, which meets every X-block in room 236, to create a more casual environment for students who are passionate about debate but who don’t want the commitment that comes with many of the other debate-related clubs.

In the creation of the club, Stolyarov said the leaders started by brainstorming ideas that would cater to their love for debate but also nurture a chill environment, allowing them to balance their school work, social life, and varsity sports.

“I was very excited to start this club and relieved that we were making a space that was accessible to everyone, no matter their workload,” Stolyarov said.

Levy said people interested in joining do not need to be educated on every political event in the world; they just need to be interested in debate.

“We don’t always talk about politics,” Levy said. “The other day, we argued about which was better: Cheez-Its or Goldfish.”

Senior and club member Clara Van de Velde said she enjoys the club’s casual, short take on debates.

“We usually have five minutes to sell an object or defend a topic that someone gives you,” Van de Velde said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

The club meetings usually involve games or exercises related to debate, but Stolyarov said that no one is pressured to participate.

“No one needs to debate. It’s very low-key and students only do it if they want to,” Stolyarov said. “[Watching and listening to the debates] is very fun because you can learn what arguments work and don’t work.”

Stolyarov said his work in reviving the Debate Society has been a rewarding experience.

“It feels great to be part of creating a program that is an outlet for other students,” Stolyarov said.

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