What we're all about

Welcome home! We're glad you made it!

Many of you have experience with public speaking: giving formal or informal presentations in classes, teaching in schools, or maybe even participating in a speaking competition. Debate will let you use and develop those skills, but it will also help you to develop other skills--close reading, interpretation, critical reasoning, argumentation, rhetorical invention--and all in front of a live audience!

"This house believes" that debate will be an exciting and enriching addition to your university experience. So sign on, jump in, "reach higher," and Speak Up!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Winners: May Debates

Hello, Debaters (and fans)!

Thanks again for a memorable night. All of the speakers and their squads impressed us once more with their preparation and poise under challenging circumstances. We learn a lot from all of you every time. 

I speak for all of the faculty advisors when I say it has been a pleasure working with you: thank you for the privilege. We hope those of you who aren't graduating return to be with us again in the Fall, and to those of you who are graduating, we say God speed you to great adventures beyond the university.

Here, then, are the winners, with our congratulations:

Motion 1: CBE, with Leyla Nader, Haifa Hydruse, and Hind Ali.

Motion 2: English Literature 1, with Dunia Hafez, Fatima al Mutawa, and Eman al Mehri

Motion 3: Engineering, with Yasmeena Eid Sangoor, Ghada Bannaga, and Shireen Hassan

Overall Winners: CBE (and thanks very much for the thoughtful consideration of your faculty supporters)

Thanks, as ever, to Monique for her help with the necessaries and the niceties, and to Dean Baker and the other Deans who have supported us from the beginning. We will grow!

Our judges this time were Dean Courtney Stryker, Dr. Roma Aboudani, and Mr. Francis Mathew, Editor-at-Large of Gulf News

On the Horizon
We'll start up again in the Fall, with a general meeting scheduled for September 2. We will hold only two debate series in the Fall, and make sure they are scheduled away from midterm and final exams. We'll also be trying a few other things a little differently in the Fall. So watch this space for news and announcements.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Motions: May 20 Debates

Thanks to all you responded to the request for feedback, and welcome to the new squad from Engineering!

Here they are, our May Motions and Squad Assignments

Debate 1:
This house believes that stricter measures should be taken to control/reduce the importation of foreign material culture and practices.

Proposition: CBE
Opposition: Mass Comm/Translation/Philosophy

Debate 2:
This house believes that intra-family or "cousin" marriage should be discouraged.

Proposition: Linguistics
Opposition: English 1

Debate 3:
This house believes that permanent residency/citizenship should be extended to expatriate workers after a 10-year probation period.

Proposition: Engineering
Opposition: English 2 

Next two weeks:

I suggest that squad members research the motion this weekend, and meet together for a correlation meeting/mock debate next week. Please arrange to meet as a squad at a time most convenient for all members, and consider the schedules of your advisors. It would be acceptable to meet without an advisor at first, and then send a delegation to confer with the advisors if necessary.

Thanks to all for your support and suggestions. If we didn't get to your preferred motion this time, don't worry: we will have an opportunity in the Fall.

This is our last debate of the academic year, so let's make it a great one! 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Judging Criteria






Poise and Delivery




Effective First Speech




Effective Response/ Second Speech














May Debates: Family, Society and Culture in the Emirates

Hello, all! 

May is nearly on us, and it's time to begin preparing for our final debates of the academic year. These debates will be held as follows:

May 20
Cinema Room

We hope to see you all there!

Here are the draft motions. Please review them with your squadmates and advisors (if necessary), then see the instructions below. 

This House believes that:

1. stricter measures should be taken to control/reduce the importation of foreign material culture and practices.

2. the importation of foreign material cultures and practices compromises Emirati national identity.

3. intra-family or "cousin" marriage should be discouraged/outlawed.

4. Emirati men should be required to marry Emirati women as only or first spouse.

5. rights of citizenship should be transmitted through mothers as well as fathers.

6. permanent residency/citizenship should be extended to expatriate workers after a 10-year probation period.

Women in Society
7. the law prohibiting the veil in the workplace should be repealed.

8. the law prohibiting the veil in the workplace should be extended to include all public institutions, including government offices, educational institutions, and airports.

Rank the motions in order of preference. Indicate with an O or a P if your squad prefers to be the proposition or the opposition. 

Please follow this format in your email:

Re: May Debates, Squad 1

Here are our preferences:

7 O
8 P
3 P
4 P
1 O
6 P
5 O
2 O

You have until Tuesday, April 28 at midnight to submit your results (one email per squad), at which time Dr. Penny will make motion and position assignments.

Thanks, and happy deliberating!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Winners: April Debates

Hello, Debaters!

Sorry it's taken me so long to post this. But here it is, at last:

Debate 1: Squad 5, represented by Saba Najeeb, Zainab Shanbeeh, and Hind Ali

Debate 2: Squad 4, represented by Asma Salih, Mai Hasan, and Badreyya Khanbooli

Debate 3: Squad 1, represented by Fatima Tariq, Asma Ba'Omar, and Ameera al Shehhi

Overall Winners: Squad 5

Congratulations to all our debaters--speakers and squadmates--for a stimulating evening. You got a lot of students interested, and gave us much to think about. Thanks also to the advisors. We appreciate your hard work and commitment.

See you at the General Meeting!

Wednesday, April 8, 6:45-7:45
Room 134, MQ80

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Motions: April Debates

Hello, everyone!

We've been working through a few little snafus, but I think we've sorted everything out. So here, in preparation for the April 1 debates, are the motions and squad assignments.

The overall theme is campus issues, and the motions were generated and selected by the members of the society by common consent. 

Motion 1: This House believes that UAEU should be a co-educational institution.
Proposition: Squad 2
Opposition: Squad 5

Motion 2: This House believes that international undergraduate students should not have to pay tuition and housing fees.
Proposition: Squad 4
Opposition: Squad 3

Motion 3: This House would allow general camera use on the women’s campus and in the women’s housing areas.
Proposition: Squad 1
Opposition: Squad 6

Thanks to all our squads and their advisors for their commitment and preparation. Squads are composed of students from the colleges of Law, Engineering, Business, and Humanities and Social Sciences. From CHSS, we have Translation, Linguistics, Mass Communications, Sociology, psychology, and English Literature students. 

Advisors come from Business, English, Translation, Linguistics, Psychology, History, and Literature. We're quite the group! See you next week, as follows:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Cinema Room, MQ80

All students and faculty are welcome.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Resource

Thanks to Mr. Tim Kirk for this. Eventually we'll put it in the resources section, but it deserves its own place here:

Speaking, Listening and Understanding : Debate for Non-Native English Speakers

Rybold, Gary (Author)

Pages: 192

Publisher: International Debate Education Association

Released: 2006

Language: en

LC Call Number: PN4181.R94 2006eb

ISBN: 9781932716245

Dewey Decimal Number: 808.5/3

Subjects: Debates and debating.   English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.   

Click on:


Then click on , in the middle of the page