Debate Club secures their place at the top


The Debate Club attended Tustin Model United Nations, making it their first in-person competition of the season in two years.

Stepping away from Zoom and into their first event at Tustin Model United Nations, Diamond Bar High School’s Debate Club had a strong start to their competition season, as two sophomores secured awards for their research and public speaking skills. 

The Nov. 20 competition was the club’s first in-person event in two years; the event put their research, speaking and writing skills to the test. Before the competition, each member was given a problem and a country to learn more about. The event challenged competitors to debate their researched solutions to the issues presented. To finish off the function, members collaborated on a resolution paper that detailed their findings with the intent of getting it approved by the committee of competitors. 

“I was afraid [club members] would have had a horrible experience because there were a lot of intimidating, strong competitors,” club president senior Steven Tjandra said via Messenger. “But no, most of them had a great time and asked me when the next competition was.”

To prepare members for the event, the club hosted weekly workshops that guided them through the researching process. Vice president senior Mingyu Liu said the group mainly focused on familiarizing themselves with policy analysis and international affairs before jumping straight into the event.

“For this year, we’re definitely giving a lot more resources over to our members,” Tjandra said. “We’re aiming to make this transition—because [for] a lot of our members, this is their first competition—as smooth as possible.”

For sophomore Tiffany Hu, the competition gave her an opportunity to talk to new people and build a sense of community over a common interest: public speaking. She won third place for her performance in the conference on human trafficking where she prepared a position paper on South African and the United Nations’ efforts to combat this problem.

“When they were announcing awards, I wasn’t listening because I didn’t think I would get an award so they had to call me up after,” Hu said via Messenger. “I was really surprised and happy to get an award in my first ever debate competition.”

Another Brahma securing an award in the competition was sophomore Clair Kim, who won a research award for her paper on Angola and their participation in community-supported agriculture. She said her favorite part of the event was communicating with her resolution group to find a solution for the agricultural crisis. 

“This was my first MUN competition ever and it was definitely nerve wracking,” Kim said via Messenger. “Still, I reminded myself that I was there for the experience and that I would be proud of myself no matter what happened.”

Overall, Liu and Tjandra expressed how they wanted members to value how important it is to take the time to understand the issues in the world they live in through this competition. 

“Even if you’re not into politics, even if you’re not into international affairs, doing stuff like MUN just really broadens your skills but also just improves some critical skills overall, whether it’s public speaking, analysis of papers, or even logical reasoning skills,” Liu said.