The beginnings of the American Logos
In 2013, two American students traveled to Ploiesti, Romania to compete with a Romanian teammate in an international debate tournament. The trip was life-changing, and conversations began about how to bring World Schools Debate to the United States. Aided by the kindness of Romanian, Czech, and South African coaches, Sherri and Mary Russell began building an independent American team. For the next two years, students were recruited as the curriculum was developed and connections with the international community grew.
American Logos and the Heart of Europe
The first official American Logos team attended the Heart of Europe Debate tournament in July 2015. The tournament was the perfect environment to kick-start the official beginning of American Logos as an institution. By the 2016-2017 season, the American Logos team grew to include nine students, and grew again to twelve students in the 2017-2018 season. Our goal as an organization is to form teams of students who represent the diversity of ideas in the United States. Our team plans to present our nation and American principles in a positive way to the future leaders of the world. We have befriended individuals from over 45 countries, and are more passionate than ever about changing the world one debate at a time!
Heart of Europe has played a huge role in the development of our program and the growth of our students! The 2018 Edition of the Heart of Europe tournament was our third time in Olomouc and our third time enjoying the hospitality, quality competition, and FUN that is offered at this wonderful tournament. We are SO thankful to the organizers and participants that make the Heart of Europe Tournament such a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we can’t wait to come back! In the words of American Logos students…
“In just one tournament, I’ve seen significant improvement in my debating style. The adjudicator’s comments helped me to deepen my analysis and to work on developing my arguments. Apart from becoming a better debater, I’ve met a plethora of people with different backgrounds and experiences. Each person brings a unique experience to the table, but they’re all united in their passion for debate and their eagerness to learn more about the world.” Sathvik Kolli
“The Heart of Europe Debate Tournament 2018 is in the books and I can honestly say that it was one of the BEST experiences of my life to this point. At HOEDT 2018, I had the opportunity to talk to, interact with, and debate against students from different religious, cultural, national, and economical backgrounds that had different perspectives on policies, ideologies, and just life in general. This experience has made me a better debater, a better listener, and a more rounded individual overall. This is an opportunity I’m so grateful to have been given and I would recommend it to anybody.” Justin Burnett
“Competing at the Heart of Europe tournament was an eye-opening, indescribable experience that I never imagined I would encounter. Watching relationships develop and strengthen so quickly within our team was so special to watch and experience. As grateful as I am for the friends I’ve found within our group, forming bonds with people from all over the world and from all different walks of life felt like one of the greatest blessings I’ve ever been given. Talking with different teams and coaches opened so many avenues and conversations that high school kids in the U.S. are never exposed to. It was interesting to realize that we all had misconceptions about each other’s lives that we had never second-guessed until we met someone who dispelled those ideas. I had the privilege of debating real, pressing issues and expanding my perspective on them because of the exposure to so many diverse mindsets, values, and experiences. In this day and age, it’s these interactions and the exchange of ideas that progress us as a global community and as individuals. I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to connect to people from the world around me and to discuss ideas that will shape our future.” Rachel Brody
“My time at the Heart of Europe tournament was one of the most educational and perspective enhancing trips of my life.” Nat Koch
“When American Logos travels to a tournament, we have specific goals in mind.We purposely make an attempt to be friendly, to represent our ideals effectively, and to learn from people who have different life experiences. The Heart of Europe Debate Tournament was another triumph in that regard. Yes, we were successful. Yes, we brought home accolades. But as a whole, those were only minor parts of the bigger experiences we had in Olomouc. I know I learned a lot from people from around the world; I also believe they were able to learn something from us — and that exchange is why we debate as American Logos.” Joshua Farquhar
All credits for the article go to Mary Russell, whilst the quotes belong to their respective authors. The photos are taken from the American Logos‘ website and have been used with their permission.