Hug High Debate invades the Capital, meets state leaders

Hug High Debate invades the Capital, meets state leaders

The first Friday of March, the Hug High Speech & Debate team invaded the Nevada capital, Carson City. This handful of students took over the desks of multiple assembly members, and used this opportunity to advocate for school budget spending changes.

The actual point of this field trip was to celebrate “National Speech & Debate Education Day” which is every March 1st. To recognize Speech & Debate, the Nevada Legislature (made up of the Assembly and the Senate) invited teams from schools around the state, including the University of Las Vegas and the Hug High team. To begin the day, the teams were taken to the assembly chambers, a spacious semicircle of a room with rows of desk all facing the center of the room which houses the desk of the speaker, a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, and our state seal. Everyone got to sit in the desk of an Assembly Member on the condition they didn’t touch anything. Former Speech & Debate student and current Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson treated everyone to a discussion on the merits of hard work and extracurricular activities.

After the speech, all the teams were allowed to observe the proceedings of the day. The speaker of the house (who speaks incredibly quickly) set up the order business, starting with a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Nevada’s ratification of the 15th amendment, which gave African American men the right to vote. Nevada was in fact the first state in the Union to ratify the 15th amendment. Following this were several “motions to recognize the birthday of____ and ____” before the actual order of business was attended to. Multiple bills were brought up to the assembly, and then formally sent to different committees (Committee of Education, Committee of Ways and Means, Committee of Human Health and Services, etc.) to be reviewed and edited for voting on later.

During lunch, Andrew Quispe took the opportunity to track down and interview Assemblywoman Sarah Peters, who represents the district in which Hug resides. They discussed why she wanted to run for office, some of the issues facing debate this legislative session, and finally her experience with the First Female Majority Legislature in the Nation. The last topic she described as a “dream come true.” The full interview can be seen on the announcements on Monday the 4th of March.

To close the day, the team filmed the announcements in the old Nevada Supreme Court Room, as well as segments on the history of Carson City, and the female “Political Powerhouses” of Nevada.