Opinion

The benefits of joining the debate team

Everything we do in life prepares us for something bigger. That is how I would describe my
experience with debate. It is a means to an end. A common misconception is that debating
means arguing over politics, but, in reality, it is so much more.
To debate is to have an intellectual conversation with opposing sides. For example, you
could talk about how waffles are better than pancakes, the benefits of bringing back Vine or
why Brexit is a good or bad idea. Speech and debate build community, strengthens
communication skills, widens your viewpoints and creates life-long connections. No matter
what career your future holds, speech and debate can benefit you. The impact that debate had
in my life is exponential. Debate opened doors I didn’t know existed. I had the opportunity to
travel, meet people from all walks of life and see the world through a lens I didn’t have before.
When I first came to college for my undergraduate degree, I wanted to strictly focus on my
classes and make friends. When I first joined my school’s debate team, I was skeptical, but the
decision changed my life. The debate team fulfillled my goals and helped me in my classes
while creating a family for me in college that I didn’t have before. The traveling,
communicating and connecting that debate provided me is ultimately the reason I am at JBU
today pursuing a master’s in education. Being able to speak in front of groups of people with
confidence and poise is a skill that will benefit me in my future as a teacher. I have become
much more confident in my speech and reasoning abilities due to this program, and I would
love to see this team impact others the way it once did here.
As the assistant debate coach at JBU, my goal is to strengthen and build a team of individuals
who want to learn, have an influence and grow. JBU offers public speech and debate not only
as a club but also as a practicum in which you can receive class credit. As of this year, the
university is also offering a communications minor. The best part of the form of debate we do
is that you do not have to have any prior knowledge or skills to do it and succeed. It is my job
to help build students up and prepare them for what is to come.