East Congress: A Divisive Start for an Important Year

Levi Gorden

With a the start of a new school year comes the start of a new congress season, one vital for the future of the growth of the Horace Hawks congress team. However the first tournament, East Congress, was met with mixed reception. While the tournament was considered a success on a major level for the team, each house and chamber had a much different experience.

But before going into the finer details we’ll look at the impact the tournament had as a whole for the team. Forensics (congress, debate, and speech) head coach Nathan Amberg was very pleased with the overall outcome. “When I started this program I knew we were going to be facing adversity… It’s hard right now, but we’re seeing huge improvement.” With many people getting their first taste of congress and freshmen and sophomores yielding more high chamber experience east congress worked as a lax but competitive environment for people to get feel for the activity and coaches to get a sense of where people belong. Along with providing more experience for previous participants.

Now to go into finer detail we’ll look at the experience of those in individual houses and overall chambers. A quick explanation for those who don’t know, congress is split up into 3 chambers. The chambers are set apart by skill and experience and earth chamber gets a different set of 5 resolutions to speak on. These 3 chambers are then split into 7 houses, these being the Senate and Houses 1-6. The Senate and House 1 making up the higher chamber, Houses 2-4 making up the middle chamber, and Houses 5 and 6 making up the lower chamber. With that out of the way we can go into discussing the houses and chamber individually, starting with the higher chamber.

The Senate being the highest house was expectedly quite professional but also quite lax. Both due to the fact that many there had been competing with each other for years and know each other quite well, but also in response to a general distaste for the majority of the resolutions. This also showed through the fact that no resolutions passed and 2 even failed to unanimous decision. This attitude was also shared broadly by House 1.

The middle chamber was highly variable experience, while many were able to engage in a very energetic and responsive discussion others were left with slower, less stimulated conversations. While House 4 was very focused and enjoyable the other houses were not able to match it’s energy, leading for a variable and mismatching experience overall.

The lower chamber unlike the others was a broadly very enjoyable experience, that best encapsulated the experience of East Congress. With many people just starting their congressional career and getting a feel for the activity you might think that it would be a nervous and awkward experience but after some initial disorganization the lower houses slowly gained momentum and at its peak had unmatched energy with participants getting into the motion of getting up, giving speeches, listening, time distribution, motions, crystallization, and finally voting.

To summarize, East Congress, while divisive among participants is an important start for the year and showed great potential for the future of the Horace forensics team.