2013 Tournament Results
On April 19th – 20th, 32 high school students from West, Service, Dimond, Chugiak, Eagle River, East, and South high schools competed in the 4th Annual Northern Lights Tournament. Over the weekend, students debated issues including whether or not Alaska should continue to host the Iditarod, prescription drug advertising, and whether teachers should be paid according to students' performance. At the end of four preliminary rounds, the top four teams advanced directly to a final round of competition.
The advancing teams were:
- Paige Perez (senior, South) & Johanna Richter (senior, Service)
- Nicole Eldred (junior, South) & Jacob Parish (senior, South)
- Ruth Miller (sophomore, West) & Elizabeth Jackson (sophomore, West)
- Terek Rutherford (sophomore, South) & Skylar Hektner (sophomore, South)
In the final round, the four teams debated over whether or not medical decisions for children ought be made by healthcare professionals instead of their parents. At the end of a length deliberation, a five person adjudication panel declared the team of Rutherford & Hektner from South Anchorage HS the tournament champions.
In addition to recognizing the top 8 teams in the tournament, the top 5 speakers were recognized individually.
1st Place: Eldred
2nd Place: Miller
3rd Place: Parish
4th Place: Rutherford
5th Place: Jackson
2010 Tournament Results
On April 16th-17th, 34 high school students from Chugiak, Dimond, Homer, South, and West high schools competed in the 3rd Annual Northern Lights Tournament. Over the weekend, students debated such current controversial issues as whether companies should be allowed to engage in electioneering communication, whether the government should pay people to learn an Alaska Native language, and whether the US government should support the political opposition in Iran. This year, the top eigh teams advanced to a semifinal round of competition, and at least one student from every school was represented in that semifinal. The non-advancing semifinalists were:
- Sam Harris (senior, Chugiak) & Tavish Logan (sophomore, South)
- Max Silverman (senior, West) & David Smith (senior, Chugiak)
- Claire Schapira (sophomore, South) & Dylan Hardenbergh (sophomore, South)
- Ben Blue (senior, Homer) & Emerson Quarton (senior, Homer)
Following the semifinal, the top four teams advanced to the championship round. The advancing teams were:
- Jonathan Walther (sophomore, Dimond) & Eugene Shestakov (freshman, Dimond)
- Bexley Brown (sophomore, South) & Corey Tindall (sophomore, South)
- Esther Smith (senior, Chugiak) & Jesse Lehman (junior, South)
- Austin Heyroth (junior, South) & Kenneth Hubbell (junior, South).
In this debate, the four teams explored whether or not suspected terrorists should be tried in civilian courts or in military tribunals. At the conclusion of the debate, a five person adjudication panel declared the team of Brown & Tindall from South Anchorage HS the tournament champions.
In addition to recognizing the top 8 teams in the tournmant, the top 10 speakers were recognized individually.
1st Place: Hubbell
2nd Place: Tindall
3rd Place: Heyroth
4th Place: Lehman
5th Place: Brown
6th Place: Silverman
7th Place: E. Smith
8th Place (tie): D. Smith
8th Place (tie): Schapira
10th Place: Alex Peterson (freshman, Dimond)
In addition to these awards, the Seawolf Debate Team, Alaska Debating Society, and UAA's Student Clubs & Greek Life awarded the top speaker and each member of the championship team a $250 merit-based scholarship for academic achievement in debating.
The topics debated in this year's tournament were:
Round 1: This house would legalize marijuana
Round 2: This house would impose a sin tax on unhealthful foods
Round 3: This house believes corporations should be prohibited from engaging in electioneering communication
Round 4: This house believes that the U.S. should explicitly endorse the political opposition in Iran
Semifinal Round: This house believes the government should offer direct financial incentives to individuals who become fluent in an Alaska Native language
Championship Round: This house believes that suspects in the war on terror should be tried in civilian courts
2009 Tournament Results
On April 17th-18th, 34 high school students from seven south-central Alaska high schools took part in a debate tournament conducted in the world universities style of debating. Over the course of the weekend, students engaged each other on such controversial topics as whether bailouts are an appropriate response to economic crisis and whether the Bush Administration should be prosecuted for war crimes. At the conclusion of four preliminary rounds, the top four teams advanced to the final round of competition.
In the championship round, debaters from Chugiak, Homer, and South Anchorage High Schools discussed whether the United States should occupy Somalia to solve the piracy problem. The opening government team, from Homer High School (Kelsey Waldorf, senior, & Bailey Richards, junior) discussed the economic consequences of piracy and proposed that the United States send military troops into Somalia while also engaging the government diplomatically. The opening opposition team, from South Anchorage High School (Austin Heyroth & Kenneth Hubbell, sophomores) argued that the threat of piracy is overblown and that a military occupation would have enormous economic costs, and would ultimately be a quagmire. The closing government team, from Homer High School (Emerson Quarton & Ben Blue, juniors) continued to stress the importance of piracy and began to build the case that American occupation was a necessity. The closing government team, a hybrid from Chugiak High School (Esther Smith, junior) and South Anchorage High School (Jesse Lehman, sophomore) focused on the turmoil a US occupation would bring about while also stressing how it would harm the Somali people, as well.
Ultimately, the five member adjudication panel, comprised of current and former Seawolf Debaters, determined that the closing government team from Chugiak/South High Schools did the superior job of debating and named them the tournament champions. Both members of the championship team will receive a $250 merit-based scholarship for academic achievement in debating. In addition, the tournament's top speaker also earned a $250 scholarship. This year, that award was won by one half of the championship team: Esther Smith. Rounding out the top 10 speakers were:
2nd Place: Lehman
3rd Place: Heyroth
4th Place: Lindsay Cason (senior, West HS)
5th Place: Nathaniel Rubin (sophomore, West HS)
6th Place: Hubbell
7th Place: William Cason (senior, West HS)
8th Place: E. Quarton
9th Place: Waldorf
10th Place: Bonnie Etter (junior, Eagle River HS)
The topics debated in this year's tournament were:
Round 1: This house believes the Bush Administration should be prosecuted for war crimes
Round 2: This house believes bailouts for failing industries are an inappropriate response to economic crisis
Round 3: This house would require sex education regardless of whether parental consent has been given
Round 4: This house would subject itself to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
Championship Round: This house would occupy Somalia to solve the pirate problem
2008 Northern Lights Results
This was the 1st time--as far as we know--that a tournament was held for Alaska high school students in the world universities style of debating competition.
The tournament was a resounding success. Twenty-eight debaters, representing seven high schools from south-central Alaska spent the weekend engaging one another on a variety of controversial topics:
Round 1: This house supports compulsory national service
We recognized the top five speakers in the tournament at the conclusion of preliminary rounds. Showing the diversity of talent in the state, these speakers came from four different high schools:
1st Place & winner of a $200 scholarship: Sarah Carpenter (Chugiak)
Rounding out the top 10 were: