Wampus Cat Debate Goes to Student Congress



From November 13 to 15 Conway Highschool’s debate team sent six students to the Arkansas Student Congress held at the Arkansas State Capitol. These students were Lexi Aikman, Rebecca Corona, Tanaya Deshpande, Sydney Evans, Zirui Feng, and Avery Ferguson. Arkansas Student Congress is an annual event held by the Arkansas Communication and Theater Arts Association with the purpose of helping students develop valuable, lifelong skills such as speaking and handling formal situations. The students participated in Congressional debate, a form mimicking debate within the US Congress. Students submitted their own legislation, campaigned for office positions, and gave speeches on the merit of other students’ legislation. The weekend was quite successful for the Conway students. Feng, Aikman, and Deshpande brought home Outstanding Committee Work awards, while Ferguson and Evans won Superior Committee Work. Deshpande and Ferguson won Superior Floor Speaking; Evans and Aikman won Outstanding Floor speaking. Ferguson’s legislation placed fourth in the House when judged by an independent legislator. Overall, the Conway Representatives were able to achieve a valuable learning experience. Deshpande stated, “I loved making new friends and seeing old ones. Connecting to people who have the same interests as me makes every experience exponentially more enjoyable than it would’ve already been. I also loved collaborating with other students during committee meetings and making all of my speeches and my bill better. Floor debate was also so enjoyable, and I felt myself grow in my ability to speak publicly and am proud of that.”