2 Student CongressThe object of student congress is to have students debate pro and con about solutions to current social problems. Topics are presented in the form of a bill or resolution. Each student has three minutes to give a pro or con speech with a one minute mandatory questioning period. Judges look for refutation of specific issues as well as delivery techniques.
3 Student CongressContestants in Student Congress become legislators charged with the task of fulfilling the responsibilities of the legislative branch of the federal government.Prior to the tournament students receive the topics and research those areas to prepare speeches.
4 Many students and debate coaches enjoy the Congressional Debate format because it lets students debate material that they've written themselves, on topics that concern them.it gives students knowledge of a wide variety of important issues.it forces students to prepare arguments for both sides of any given topic.it introduces students to the practices and procedures of the U.S. legislature.it encourages students to think and speak "on their feet."
5 FormatIntroduction:A statement, anecdote, fact, or statistic designed to capture the imagination and the attention of the audience.The introduction is then tied into the argument of the speech, as the speaker urges the chamber to vote one way or another.Often, the three main lines of argument are "foreshadowed" to give the audience an idea of where the speech is leading, however, some criticize this addition as a waste of limited time.
6 Format 2 Contentions: Two or three arguments for or against the bill. Each contention should be explained in the speaker's own wordsEach contention should be supported by evidence from reputable and relevant sources.
7 Format 3Conclusion:The speaker often restates his 2 or 3 contentions, and hopefully returns briefly to the attention-grabber of the introduction to give the speech thematic unity.In some leagues, they end with the phrase "I am now open for cross-examinations and further points of clarification."Alternatively, conclusions can consist of merely 1 or 2 sentences, frequently "For these reasons you must pass/fail this bill/resolution/ legislation."
8 Student Congress Each Congress session is approximately 2 1/2 hours. The session is run by a student Presiding Officer or Chair Person.The PO’s job includes:Recognizing speakersConducting voteKeeping order
9 Student CongressAt all tournaments, you will be given lots of copies of a Speaker Ballot.All speeches are a maximum of 3 minutes in length.Each time a student is recognized for the purpose of making a speech, you should complete a ballot.
10 Student CongressFill out all identification information on the ballot.Write comments telling the speaker what you thought of delivery and content.Assign a score on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 6 (excellent).
11 Student CongressUnlike other speech events, you will give the same number to several different speakers.It is always a good idea to save the score of 6 for truly outstanding speeches.Likewise, scores of 3 or below should be reserved for short, poorly delivered, or inappropriate commentary.
12 Student CongressYou may also be asked to judge the Presiding Officer or Chair.At most tournaments, the Presiding Officer’s score will be based on a maximum of 12 points.In these cases, total scores below 8 should be reserved for extreme circumstances.
13 PRESIDING OFFICEREach chamber has a Presiding Officer or Chairman (informally known as "the P.O." or "Chair").At the beginning of each session of debate, debaters in the chamber will nominate candidates for Presiding Officer for that session.Usually, each nominee will give a brief speech introducing themselves and stating their qualifications. Debaters then elect a Presiding Officer via secret ballot.
14 PRESIDING OFFICERThe Presiding Officer's job is essentially to run the debate for the session that they've been elected. This includes the following duties:picking speakers for each piece of legislationpicking questioners during questioning periodstiming individual speeches and ensuring the speaker does not exceed 3 minutescalling for and recognizing motionsconducting votes on motions and pieces of legislationgenerally controlling the chamber and keeping debaters from becoming too unrulyThe Presiding Officer is generally scored, usually by either the judges or the Parliamentarian (see below), on how well they fulfill those duties.
15 PRESIDING OFFICER Some methods used by P.O.s include: Tracking the number of cross-examination questions a speaker has askedTracking how long the speaker has been standing to speak on the current piece of legislationCalling "randomly" on speakersConsidering which speakers were the first to standConsidering which speakers have been standing for the most number of speechesDistributing speeches equally among geographic regions (considering separately the four quadrants of the chamber)Following a pattern based on location, for instance, by calling on speakers from front-to-back, or left-to-right, and then reversing the order in the following session
17 Student CongressYour other major responsibility during the session is to note how well each legislator performs with respect to:Participation in questioning periodsLevel of involvement in parliamentary disputesInteraction with other legislatorsDecorumBehaviorAttendance
18 Student CongressYou will be asked to select a designated number of students as the Best Legislators in the session.Look for students who were excellent speakers and excellent legislators (may include PO).A tournament official will tell you how many legislators to select.
20 TOPICS http://www.gonzagadebate.com/ClassicCongress.htm Bottled Water Ban US Newspapers Presidential Primaries International Criminal Court There are many articles and websites out there on each of the Student Congress bills. What I am posting is just a starting point.
21 Roberts Rule of Order/Congress Bills For sample Congress Bills: Then click on link, " Congress Bills"
22 HOW YOU WILL BE GRADEDThis is FYI for Debate Classes: For the upcoming student congress debate, speeches will be an average score of all presentations and is worth 50 points. In order to receive grade, you must speak on 3 out of the 4 bills. Score is divided into the following: 10--Volume (Can we easily hear and understand what you are saying) 10--Eye Contact (Do you make regular eye contact with the audience) 10--Organization (Does the speech have an introduction, thesis, points of arguments, and conclusion) 10--Evidence (Does the speech use quotes or statistics to provide proof for arguments) 10--Engagement (Does the speaker reference previous evidence from other speakers to prove a point) Deductions will be made on average score for the following: Insults or negative remarks towards a particular speaker Not following directions of Presiding Officer Poor use of Parliamentary Procedure
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