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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 Moot Court Is Worth It” by Hannah White

Profile Picture of Hannah WhiteAlthough I joined Regent’s moot court team without any prior experience in formal debate, I (more than most, perhaps) was confident that I had a clear idea of what to expect: several of my friends were moot court alumni or active members, and I had seen them huddled in the backs of computer labs and library nooks with their thick binders full of printed case law. I knew that moot court would push me intellectually in ways no other college activity could, which is why I—an English major intimidated by a world of rulings and regulations—showed up to the interest meeting in the first month of my senior year steeled for an incredibly taxing experience.

I couldn’t have been more misguided. Moot court has given me far more than it has taken from me; it was the single most encouraging and freeing experience of my last year of college. My one year learning the ins and outs of legal debate provided me with more critical reading skills, meaningful motivation, public speaking confidence, and genuine companionship than I could ever have expected. And there’s nothing quite like the rush of a debate tournament—in what other setting can you argue in front of law students one second and grab Slurpees with friends in formal business attire the next?

In its own way, moot court taught me to appreciate some of the best things to come of my undergrad experience: diligence, sound research skills, and the company of good people. I’m thankful for the brief time I had participating in it, and I highly recommend it for any and all students.


“Moot Court: An Irreplaceable Experience” by Seth Connell

Profile Picture of Seth ConnellI joined RUDA in the fall of 2013. I was not exactly sure what to expect, having never done debate before, but I was quickly able to find a groove and go with it. Prior to this, I never really had much public speaking experience, but I did have my critical thinking skills and worked very hard on knowing the issue inside and out each season. My work paid off as my partner and I went to the national tournament in 2013 and again in 2016. It’s an experience I will not soon forget.

I had three years of time in RUDA and learned things that no class could have taught me. First, it fine-tuned my critical thinking skills. Second, it greatly improved my public speaking skills. The experience helped me to think quickly and to formulate responses to all sorts of outlandish questions on the spot. These skills are only gained through experience, and the time I spent with RUDA is arguably the most important investment I made at Regent. In short, this experience is invaluable. If you really want to learn how to formulate solid arguments and present them in a tough forum, look no further than RUDA.


“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.