2013 Tournament Results 

On March 22nd, 32 high school students from Anchorage area high schools competed in the 4th Annual Northern Lights Tournament.  Over the weekend, students debated issues including whether or not Alaska should legalize marijuana, business practices regarding e-cigarettes, and whether religious parties should be banned from participating in emerging democracies. At the end of four preliminary rounds, the top four teams advanced directly to a final round of competition. 

The advancing teams were:  
- Samuel Erickson (senior, Eagle River) & Kari Jahnsen (junior, South)  
- Hannah Gershel (senior, Eagle River) & Jacob Shercliffe (senior, Chugiak)  
- Michaela Stith (senior, West) & Sawyer Birnbaum (senior, West) 
- Terek Rutherford (junior, South) & Skylar Hektner (junior, South) 

In the final round, the four teams debated over whether or not bankrupt cities should be placed in the hands of non-elected financial experts. At the end of a length deliberation, a seven person adjudication panel declared the team of Rutherford & Hektner from South Anchorage HS the tournament champions, for their second year in a year.

In addition to recognizing the top 4 teams in the tournament, the top 5 speakers were recognized individually.  
Top Speaker: Michaela Stith 


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
 
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2008 Northern Lights Results

 

Tournament Recap

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
Round 2: This house believes no nation should have exclusive rights to the Arctic
Round 3: This house would mandate a reduction in carbon emissions
Round 4: This house supports single sex education

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)
2nd Place: Katie Zager (Service)
3rd Place: Austin Heyroth (South)
4th Place: Tamiah Liebersbach (Chugiak)
5th Place: Morgan Haskins (West)

Rounding out the top 10 were:
6th Place: Bryce Jarvis (Eagle River)
7th Place: Daniel Schwicht (South)
8th Place: Becky Smith (Chugiak)
9th Place: Lindsay Cason (West)
10th Place: Wiley Cason (West)

 

Championship Round

 

 
undefined The final round saw debaters from four different high schools (Eagle River, Service, South, and West) engage one another on whether the use of torture is a legitimate tool in the War on Terrorism.  The opening government team, from Eagle River (Bryce Jarvis & Bonnie Etter), argued protecting American lives is of the utmost importance while the opening opposition, from Service/South (Katie Zager/Austin Heyroth), countered that torture is never justified and that other alternatives are always more effective.  The closing government, from South (Blake Steenhoven & Daniel Schwicht), continued the line that the government has a responsibility to protect its citizens.  In addition, they argued that by legalizing torture we gain the ability to regulate the who, how, and when of torture, thereby minimizing its abuse.  The closing opposition, from West (Morgan Haskins & Lindsay Cason), argued that by sacrificing our moral high ground on human rights, we lose our ability to effectively use our soft power throughout the world.  In the end, the hybrid team from Service/South convinced the 5 member adjudication panel that they deserved to be the tournament champions, and winners of the $250 cash scholarships.
 
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