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UHS seniors put ideas to the test in debates

Posted January 28, 2015

Seniors at University High School took the stage for a fiery debate on foreign and domestic issues on Wednesday.

Government classes each formed political parties, developed plans and platforms and then battled on stage at the debates, which were held in front of a packed auditorium filled with fellow students, parents, community members—and former Rep. Ron Barber.

Dr. H.T. Sánchez, superintendent of Tucson Unified School District, served as moderator. After the debates, Dr. Sánchez told the students he was moved by the ideas he heard and the passion the debaters displayed.

"I encourage you not to lose the brave, bold willingness to see things for what they are," he said. "I'm very impressed and very proud to be the superintendent."

The parties—Premiere, Chrome, Party Go and UHS Enterprise—debated issues including tax reform, education, gun laws, military funding, terrorism, health care and more.

The audience was as passionate as the seniors on stage. Supporters of the UHS Enterprise team raised their hands in a Vulcan salute when their representatives spoke. Members of Party Go held up green lights. Roars of cheers and laughter followed particularly good points—or burns on other teams.

The junior class will vote Thursday to determine the winning party, and an Inaugural Ball will be held Saturday night to cap off the lesson in government.

"Over the 38-year history of the school, this event has become a rite of passage for students who graduate from University High," said Principal Dean Packard.
UHS Debate

A speaker from the Chrome party

Rep. Ron Barber said he was on familiar territory—not just with the content of the debate but with its location. As a Rincon High School graduate, he had great memories of being in the auditorium and on stage. He encouraged the students to go into government.

"Continue to be engaged in your civic community and do everything you can to make this a better place."

 UHS Debate
UHS Debate
 Former Rep. Ron Barber addresses the audience.
 UHS Debate
Dr. Sánchez serves as debate moderator.
 UHS Debate
A speaker from the Chrome party
 UHS Debate
Speaker from the Chrome Party
 UHS Debate
A speaker from the Party Go addresses key issues.
 UHS Debate
Speaker from UHS Enterprise
 UHS Debate
Speaker from the Premiere Party