Debate Club welcomes conversation

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By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer

Are you interested in becoming a lawyer, or going into debate? Maybe you just enjoy taking part in a good debate session. If this sounds like you then the Debate Club may garner your interest.

The Debate Club was started in 2015 and is one of the many student run organizations offered to UMass Dartmouth students here on campus.

The club welcomes all students to join.

Educator for the club, Morgan Banville started the club after coming to UMass Dartmouth.

“I created the Debate Club because I had participated in speech and debate all through high school. I formed some of the greatest friendships from all over the state of MA.”

She continued, saying “I was also the president my senior year and had received various awards during the competitions. One of which was becoming the fourth best radio broadcaster in the state of MA in 2015.”

The debate club meets every Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the library for the eboard meetings and every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Larts 114.

There is a lot that goes into the club in making it special. “We have a very diverse number of students who each bring their own interest and specialties,” Banville said.

Club President Jeffery Chen believes that the overall art of debate has something unique to it. “Debate is unique and special per se. It’s a competition yet, unlike other sports, the end goal of debate isn’t about winning the competition,” said Chen.

“At the end of the day, debate is about the skills and knowledge you could learn from its very process and how you apply it to your work or even your daily life.”

Competing is something the Debate Club hopes to do in the near future. “We were last working on trying to go to collegiate competitions to compete, yet it seems all the competitions are much further than expected. Nothing like high school competitions,” said Banville.

Debate questions can vary from day to day but highlight some of the most important issues of society. “The most practiced and common ones are the death penalty, abortion issue, legalization of marijuana and guns,” said Chen.

“However, as a club we’re constantly looking for more up-to-date or more relevant topics to the UMass Dartmouth Community, like the Brexit, presidential election and the parking issues on campus for examples. Occasionally, we would debate on silly and random topics just to have fun. Topics like we should build a wall on campus to prevent all the goose from invading the campus.”

Involvement is key when looking to join a club such as debate. “Students should get involved in general with any activity on campus in order to become more involved in campus life,” said Banville.

“Our club offers various perspectives on social and political topics, and invites students to share their opinions in a safe space. This is more debate, rather than the speech that I did in high school. Communication and teamwork is everything and the debate club allows students to come together.”

“What you can gain from the club are multiple crucial skills sets which are also, needless to say, the reason why it looks good on your resume,” said Chen.

“Beyond that, these skillsets and abilities truly can and will slip into your day to day life and bring you astounding benefits you wouldn’t imagine of.”

If interested in joining the Debate Club or if you have any questions, feel free to visit their Facebook page.

Emails can also be sent to  Jeffery Chen or Morgan Banville. You can also visit the group’s MyOrgs page for more information.

Photo Courtesy: UMass Dartmouth Debate Club

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