11 Virtual Rounds Later, He Went Above and Beyond

Charlie Huang with debate trophy and diploma

After 4 years of competing in policy debate, this superstar summer judge is on his way to Columbia University.

2020 MDAW brought us many firsts: all-new Student Congress and Speech camps, and an all-new format for policy debate camp, and most importantly, a totally virtual format. Over 120 students from across the country signed up for our camp, creating a high demand for virtual judges. Charlie Huang went above and beyond, volunteering to judge for 11 days of camp! 


Over a span of two weeks, Charlie judged rounds in which students advanced potential policies to reform the criminal justice reform. He reflected on the value of these discussions: “This topic is incredibly timely in relation to the momentous movement nation-wide on racial justice, particularly vis-à-vis policing. Interestingly, this topic was drafted over a year ago, so I think that goes to show that the issues here are certainly not new or results of merely the murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis and so many others.” 


Charlie listened attentively to practice rounds, picked a winning team, and provided plenty of friendly feedback to help students improve. He used the knowledge and skills he honed as a policy debate competitor for Rosemount High School.  Competition got him hooked, but he continued in the activity for four years – and returned to volunteer – thanks to the community. “The people I meet from debate are some of my closest friends. I’ve been so privileged to meet so many idea-focused, initiative-taking, leadership-driven, and community-oriented peers who constantly push me to do better in all those areas on top of being simply good friends,” says Charlie. 


Despite being busy preparing to attend Columbia University in New York this fall, Charlie made time to volunteer with us. His motivation? “Debate offers tremendous potential for learning and growth to high schoolers who will soon work in various ways to affect societal change on numerous issues and levels. I reckon that if I could help aid that even in a small way by judging some rounds, that’s worthy of my time.”


Charlie’s taking debate skills with him to college and beyond.  “Debate trained me to approach arguments with skeptical lenses. I approach arguments with the understanding that I can’t just accept them on-face but rather critically consider caveats, nuances, and counterarguments.” 


A big thank you & best wishes to our star summer volunteer!

From coast to coast, you can give back to the MNUDL like Charlie. The virtual debate format allows you to volunteer from any time zone. Have Zoom? Can judge! Check out our website for shift opportunities: http://bit.ly/MDAWJudge