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Student Leaders

Benefits of Becoming a Member by Hilary Davenport

Hilary DavenportI was a debater in NCFCA for seven years. Coming to college, I wondered whether I would get anything new from doing debate at Regent. After all, at the college level debate is more for government majors and those who are pre-law, right? As a Psychology major I doubted whether or not there was a place for me. I decided to go to the interest meeting anyway, and I am so glad I did. It was very exciting (and slightly nerve wracking) to learn about a new form of debate. I got swept away into the world of Moot Court: Supreme Court cases, brief writing, argument development, and presentation. It was a crazy and fun ride that landed me on a plane with my coach and partner on my way to Nationals at Chapman Law School in California.

There are so many reasons and benefits of joining the Regent Undergraduate Debate Association. Initially, doing debate taught me to think and speak, important qualities in any profession. Eight years of debate later, it would be impossible to create a comprehensive list of the benefits of debate. Instead, I have put together my top ten reasons to join the club:

  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Develop public speaking skills
  • Learn to think on your feet
  • Improve reading speed and comprehension level
  • Improve logical reasoning & analysis
  • Learn to develop strong arguments
  • Achieve professionalism
  • Compete against colleges across the country
  • Learn about interesting topics
  • IT'S FUN!

My experience debating for Regent by Kenneth Kuper

Kenneth KuyperI did not have the opportunity to debate in any official fashion during my high school years, but when I came to Regent I decided to join Regent's debate team. I jumped right in last semester and immediately perceived the value of this activity.

Like anyone else, I saw this as a way to boost my resume and give me experience for graduate level academics, yet debating at Regent soon starting meaning far more than that to me. I thoroughly enjoyed myself practicing and participating in the regional tournament for Moot Court we entered into in last semester. I loved the experience, and I am now largely involved in Regent's debate team.

Do not be of the mindset that only government major should pursue this opportunity; rather, see it as a place to learn and prepare for the future, as well as, develop essential analytical and communication skills. The time and effort put into this is rewarding and enjoyable.

We have a superb coach for our team to teach and guide us. You will not be lost if you are new; instead we will walk you through step by step the process of debating. Do not worry if you have no experience in this field; I didn't, yet here I am!

Why I Joined RUDA by Nicole Gibson

Nicole GibsonBefore joining RUDA, I had almost no experience in debate, but the first formal tournament was so exhilarating that I knew that I had to continue in debate for my next few years at Regent. I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into my first practice, but I found a group of thoughtful, intelligent, and encouraging people who quickly became good friends.  The team worked together to help everyone practice, create arguments, and develop as debaters and as individuals.

Currently RUDA participates in both Moot Court and Mock Trial practices. Each style of debate provides students with a different experience in looking at case material and speaking in front of judges. While any style of debate requires a significant time commitment, the reward is worth the effort. Debate gives students experience that they will use for the rest of their lives no matter what career they choose to pursue. It boosts confidence, helps improve speaking ability, and gives students experience working under pressure.

Overall, joining RUDA was one of the best decisions I made since coming to Regent and I would recommend joining to students of all majors. It does require hard work, but debate is a lot of fun and a good experience for any student looking to pursue a professional career.  

Growth Through Pain by Ryan Keller

Ryan KellerI debated with the NCFCA’s and CCO’s policy debate throughout high school, and always enjoyed the clash of intellect and wit that could only be found in forensics. After policy debate ended, I joined RUDA with the intent of padding my resume on my way to law school. As the first year of Moot Court began, I quickly found the skills that RUDA cultivated were above and beyond that which I had learned in high school policy. As the year progressed, I learned how to brief a case, argue properly in a legal environment, and express complicated opinions with the backing of federal case law.

RUDA is not just a legal environment where thoughtless drones go to recite legal arguments. We work hard, but the tasks never feel like a chore. The other students are passionate about learning and competing as a team, and the coaches and guest judges are interested in bettering you as a person as well as a debater. I treasure both the personal and professional relationships I have made through RUDA, and couldn’t imagine my college experience without it.

Why I Joined RUDA by Abigail Lisa

Abigail LisaBeing homeschooled my entire life, I never had the opportunity to join a debate team until I came to Regent. I knew that I because of my desire to become a lawyer, learning the art of Moot Court and Mock Trial would be incredibly valuable. Little did I know how valuable. The process of forming a good argument that has relatively no flaws is difficult, but not impossible. Finding support for your argument is much like a treasure hunt. As I learned the technique of creating arguments off of a problem and its supporting cases, I realized that this would be helping me in my writing of papers for classes. Reasoning skills are also highly important as we are constantly attacked with arguments against our faith.  As Christians we are to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). Overall, joining RUDA requires dedication and hard work, but when one understands and values the experience they will be walking away with, it is well worth it and quite rewarding.

How a Snap Decision became one of the Best Experiences of My Life by Chelsey Marto

Chelsey MartoGrowing up in New York State, many of my friends, acquaintances, and teachers were communists, fascists, socialists, environmentalists, homosexuals, drug addicts, atheists, Buddhists, agnostics, or a combination of those described. Often times in High school, I found myself debating and arguing with those around me, as I felt they had very little clue of what was actually true about the world around us. With that, I found myself wishing to go to law school, as the idea of arguing with others for a living excited me beyond belief.

That being said, when I entered college, I was a very shy, quiet, and slightly insecure person. I tried to avoid public speaking and large amounts of attention whenever possible. When I went to the club fair that August, however, I stumbled across the Debate team table. Though I had no intention of joining it, I had mentioned it to a couple of friends back home. Everyone I told this to stated that there was no way I would join, or, if I did, I would fail miserably. Having the type of personality that likes to prove others wrong, I ultimately decided to join.

Though I originally joined as an act of rebellion, what I got out of my first year on the team is more than I had ever dreamed possible. As this was my first experience with any type of formal debate, I really had no idea what to expect. What I found was a group of very intelligent and thoughtful people who enjoyed the law scene as much as I did. This club ultimately helped me decide that law school was where I needed to be, in addition to preparing me with the skills it will later take to become a successful lawyer. Through this group, I was shown what practicing law would really be like. It helped me eradicate my fear of public speaking, in addition to helping me build up my self-confidence. The leaders are incredibly accommodating in helping students hone their skills, and the students in the group are very supportive of each other. What I have gotten out of this group was much more than I had bargained for, and I will treasure the skills and relationships I have made through this club forever.