Leadership Education

The Great Debate

COM 267L, otherwise known as Introduction to Debate, was one of the leadership-infused courses my LAS cohort and I were required to take this semester. Our cohort was divided into two blocks with about 25 students in each class. I was excited to take this course- I took a speech class in high school and have always liked public speaking. I was anticipating new challenges for this because I have never participated in a formal debate. One of my biggest fears prior to taking this class was debating in front of all of my LAS friends. After learning how to debate properly and understanding the different techniques though, I felt confident in my abilities.

Debate was a very interesting experience for me. My class and I learned all about the etiquette of debating, how to properly form an argument, and various logical fallacies people make when debating. We also gained much experience from participating in both parliamentary and Lincoln Douglas styled debates. Participating in debates and watching my classmates debate opened my mind to arguments that are hot topics in society today. I debated on things such as the mandating of vegetarianism in the United States and raising the legal driving age to 18, which were both very intriguing to learn about. They made me consider each side of the arguments and even made me question my own opinions of the topics. I enjoyed learning the all of the material in debate because I believe it will be useful for the future; I want to be able to effectively argue my beliefs when put in the position of debating someone.

After taking COM 267L, I feel as though I have a good grasp on the subject of debate. I would recommend this class to anyone who feels as though they want to have the skills and knowledge to properly form arguments. Debating is a big part of life- people disagree all the time and have reasons for why their side is correct. With a debate class under my belt, I feel more comfortable with debating and defending my beliefs. I want to utilize the skills gained from this class in not only my career, but my everyday life. I feel that this class has helped me gain confidence in my public speaking and on-the-spot thinking skills, and I am very grateful for that.

Our last post-debate lunch was a great one. Photo by Rose Yob.

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