Monday, October 1, 2012

How Do We Prepare New Debaters?

St. John's University (New York)
St. John's University (New York) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every semester, the St. John's University Debate Society attracts a wide variety of students from a number of different segments of the University. Preparing them all for tournaments is difficult, especially when you realize how the STJDS operates.

We have little to no requirements for meeting attendance - we find that the more flexible we are, the more students want to participate and the more frequently they come to meetings when they are able.

We also have a number of new students showing up at different points in the semester here and there. They come whenever they see one of our fliers or whenever they hear about us on campus.

So teaching everyone about debating is not something that we can just do once and be done with it. It's something we have to do over and over again -which is fine, since we love debate and love talking about debate.

The arrival of inexpensive digital video is something we are trying to take advantage of at the Debate Society. We have filmed a number of student led training sessions (although Dr. Llano does fill in on one) in order to have a collection of videos ready for those students who want a refresher, or who would rather study the concepts of debate on their own, in their dorm, or on their smartphone during their commute through Queens.

Here is a link to our collection of training videos. Please watch them! You will be very proud of what our current students are up to.

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