The Union University Debate Team competes in the prestigious International Public Debate Association. Beginning a competitive schedule in 2008, the team has won 5 team season-long sweepstakes awards and 2 season-ending championship tournaments to go along with a host of individual and regional tournament awards.
The four cornerstones of the program are the same as those of the University:
- Excellence Driven: Union’s administration, from the President down, has clearly demonstrated its desire to launch a program that can succeed at the highest level.
- Christ Centered: The goal of the team will be to see every debater come to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and demonstrate His love to the collegiate debate community.
- People Focused: The team will increase their individual skills, support each other, and edify their community.
- Future Directed: Debate teaches skills that are easily transferable to a large variety of career choices including law, ministry, education, and business.
The Union Debate team strives to be honorable to the Savior, a source of pride to the University, and a vehicle of service and education for all involved.
Why Should I Join?
- Intellectual Growth: Debate teaches critical thinking in its highest and most integrated form. Through resolution analysis, case construction, and refutation you will learn the skills necessary to develop well-constructed arguments in any field. You will learn to look at problems and issues from a variety of angles. Through researching multiple subjects, you will both learn those subjects and the ability to find and integrate information quickly. Subjects debated include philosophy, political science, history, and popular culture. Finally, through presenting your arguments to a wide spectrum of audiences, you will learn the intangibles of persuasion that go beyond the logic of your argument.
- Social Networking: The team travels to 8-10 tournaments a year across the Southeast. Through this travel, you will have the chance to socialize with your teammates on van rides, in hotels, and during the tournaments. Through such close contact you will learn the social skills necessary to develop lasting, meaningful relationships. You will also meet other competitors from around the world, many of whom have a drastically different worldview than your own. You will be challenged to live your faith in and out of debate rounds.
- Character Building: Debate is an academic discipline and requires hard work, perseverance, and dedication to excel. Through practice rounds, critiques, lectures, and a variety of other learning opportunities you will have the chance to grow as an individual as well as a debate competitor. Through social interactions you will have the opportunity to build your character “as iron sharpens iron.”
- Competition: Debate is also a great opportunity to stoke your competitive fire! You can show your school spirit by representing Union in competition against some of the finest schools in the nation. It gives you the chance to win individual and team awards.
- Future Opportunity: Debate can open doors in your future. Many of the keys to success in graduate school, the marketplace, the business world, and public service, are the very skills you learn in debate: the ability to analyze problems, find logical alternatives, select a course of action, and persuade others of the correctness of your ideas through clear and organized communication. Plus, many graduate degree programs look extremely favorably on collegiate debate experience.
- Scholarships: Finally, scholarships are available for those who qualify. You can apply at the outset of your debate experience or join the team and try to earn one through competition.
What will be expected of me?
All members will be expected to take the class “Argumentation and Debate” upon joining the team. You are also responsible for debating at least twice weekly against other team members. You will get your topics from the coach and then debate at your convenience. Tournament participation will be based on your record in the practice rounds. No one travels without a minimum of six completed practice rounds. Scholarshipped debaters are required to participate in at least 75% of the team’s competitions.
How do I join?
There are several ways you can participate with the team.
- If you are just interested in knowing more, staying in touch, and becoming involved as you can, you can join the Facebook group, Union Debate Team, where we will post announcements, meetings, etc.
- If you definitely want to participate but aren’t sure at what level, you can contact Dr. Drake and begin coming to meetings and practices.
- If you want to apply for a scholarship, contact Robbie Graves in Admissions for application and interview information. - Debate Scholarship Application (.pdf) | Scholarship Requirements (.pdf)