Changes To The Upcoming UIL


Kristy Mendoza Bonilla, Staff

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Due to the pandemic, several changes have been made towards this year’s Academic UIL. Some of these changes include specific events becoming virtual, restrictions on transportation, and an installment of new protocols.


All in-person Speech and Debate events violate the CDC’s guideline of “Close Contact.” With that and the safety of those participating in mind, the UIL administration stated that all in-person Speech and Debate events will now be held virtually.  


“Another reason that Speech [and Debate events] will be [held] virtual[ly] is that the speech folks have [already] been holding virtual competitions,” UIL Academics District Coordinator Ryan Hennessey said. “This means that there is already an [online] infrastructure for Speech and Debate [events].” 


For a safer environment, other, more smaller changes were also made. 


 “In-person events will have students spaced 6 feet apart in the commons as they wait on their event as well as wearing masks during this time,” Academic Achievement Specialist Wanda Wright said. “[Also,] food cannot be brought into the school and concession will [now] only be selling pre-packaged items.”


While these small changes will inconvenience many teachers and students, from teachers now being unable to provide a ride for their students to the administrators pushing students to leave when their event ends, it’s a very small price to pay when it comes to safety. 


“To the students and teachers participating[,] I would [like to] say that we are going to make this experience as safe as we possibly can,” Hennesy said. “While allowing them to participate in an activity that could result in a lot of amazing scholarship opportunities.”