Students travel to Korea for debate

By David Burton


Two juniors traveled to Seoul, South Korea this weekend with the U.S. national debate team for an exhibition debate against the Korean national debate team. Jake Sonnenberg ’11 and Ben Sprung-Keyser ’11 spent their weekend participating in a series of public debates between the two national teams.

The U.S. team won one debate and lost the other to the Korean team.

“They were very competitive and prepared,” Sprung-Keyser said. “It was a very challenging debate between two very good teams.”

When not debating, Sprung-Keyser and Sonnenberg experienced Korean lifestyle and culture. They were hosted by two different Korean families and spent their time touring Seoul, a Buddhist temple, a demilitarized zone and a marketplace.

“A major highlight of the trip was the Korean food,” said Sonnenberg. “The family I stayed with cooked great food.”

Returning to the United States, both Sonnenberg and Sprung-Keyser are looking for a bid to the Tournament of Champions, which is a national Lincoln Douglas debate tournament held at the University of Kentucky in May. Sprung-Keyser needs to win two tournaments out of many held throughout the year in order to qualify for the Tournament of Champions. Sonnenberg needs to win one more tournament, having already finished first place in the Meadows tournament in Las Vegas two weeks ago.

“The U.S team will continue to have tournaments, but at the same time it is time to focus on winning scholastic tournaments so we can qualify for the Tournament of Champions,” Sonnenberg said.

While Sonnenberg and Sprung-Keyser were in South Korea, other students also competed in a debate this past weekend. In an interscholastic debate tournament at USC, Adam Bennett ’12 made it to the semifinals while other students made it to elimination rounds.