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!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hostelwork: Priming for our First Debate

Hello, debaters, supporters, advisors, and curious others!

After our launch this past week, we will begin preparing for the first formal debates, which will take place on March 4 as part of the university's International Women's Day celebrations. 

Here's what we're going to do for the next couple of weeks as we get ready.

  1. This coming Wednesday, Feb 18, we'll be meeting in a general assembly to take in new members, review the rules of debate, and discuss issues of importance to women in the UAE and Gulf region. 
  2. Small groups will meet together briefly and discuss what they have been reading in the Gulf News and other sources relating to women's rights, experiences, or perspectives.
  3. Those groups will develop a specific motion following the models we've seen--something that forwards a specific policy, belief, or recommendation, and that can be supported with reasons.
  4. The large group will select 3 specific motions for use in the debates, and departmental "squads" will then be assigned a motion and a side.
  5. During the following week, individuals squads should actively and critically search for related materials in news media and other general sources, read and prepare reasons to support their particular side. 
  6. Squads will then meet with their assigned faculty advisor to debate the issue in a small group, select 2 team members to represent them in the debate, and carefully prepare their speeches.
On March 4th, we will feature 2-3 debates in our inaugural meeting. Guest judges will be present to score the debates, but more important than the points you earn will be the quality of your thinking and your growing understanding of the structure and purpose of debates. And, as Mr. Sanjay told us, we should also enjoy ourselves!

Watch this space! 

Or rather, watch the space on the left entitled "Upcoming Debate": we'll be posting links to interesting articles, so please write with suggestions. You can simply comment below, send an email to JonathonP@uaeu.ac.ae, or share with your faculty advisor.

Here we go!


  1. This house believes that...'men are required to wear socks under sandals!!'

  2. http://astrology.yahoo.com/channel/sex/staying-alive-four-reasons-why-women-are-better-survivors-than-men-358185/