The OPRF Debate Society competes at academic debate tournaments against other schools throughout Illinois and the Midwest. Students compete at the novice (first-year), JV and Varsity levels and are taught public speaking, argument writing, critical thinking, and academic research skills as they prepare to debate the national high school topic each year. For the 2008-2009 school year, students debated different proposals for the federal government to invest in alternative energy, discussing hundreds of related, important environmental, economic, political, and ethical issues at a time where global warming, high oil prices, and "green" technologies are on the front page of the newspaper and central issues in the upcoming Presidential election. Students in policy debate compete in two-person teams and argue both for and against the topic in alternating debates, developing teamwork skills, and work collaboratively with the coach on preparation, research, speaking technique, and argument strategy.
Resolution (Policy Debate)
At the college level, a number of topics are proposed and interested parties write 'topic papers' discussing the pros and cons of that individual topic. Each school then gets one vote on the topic. The single topic area voted on then has a number of proposed topic wordings, one is chosen, and it is debated by affiliated students nationally for the entire season.
The high school policy debate topic is selected annually under the auspices of the National Federation of State High School Association's Speech, Debate, and Theater Association. The topic process calls for two rounds of voting, the first narrowing down five initial choices to two, and the second selecting the final resolution. In each round, each state has a vote, the National Forensic League has a vote, and the National Catholic Forensic League has a vote. Each state's activities association has its own process for determining the state's vote. (courtesy of Wikipedia)
(2012-2013) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.
(2011–2012) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.
(2010–2011) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.
(2009–2010) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.
(2008–2009) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.