I was intrigued when I first joined the Emirates Debate Society; having missed out on many opportunities before, like Model United Nations (MUN), I figured that it would be a great start. Unsure of what to expect, I found it rather well organized - with the various divisions within our group. The plethora of terminology caught me by surprise, with terms such as substantives, rebuttals, and areas of clash. All of this was new to me, but I’m glad that some of my friends from school joined as well to listen to the insightful explanations. The real excitement was when I learned about the speaker roles and the two sides of the debate, proposition and opposition. Frankly, I was unprepared for the next meeting, when the practice debate took place. On the side of the opposition, I fought against cutting funding for space-exploration. The thirty minutes of research beforehand were intense for me. I wasn’t sure what points were going to be most effective. My partner laid out our argument, revolving around innovations, economical prospects, and culture. It wasn’t perfect for sure - I received a lot of feedback on how I could have structured my speech better. Overall, however, I was proud of my accomplishments and am looking forward to the next session. I know that with more feedback and lessons to pick up, I’ll definitely get better.
UDS is a great initiative, and I'm glad Shreyas started this. It has helped me improve my debating skills by learning a lot that I wasn’t aware of. In the second session, I got a lot of practice in doing rebuttal, specifically on motions related to governance. I got the chance to be taught by experienced debaters and see how they deconstruct and go about a debate. This is a platform where everyone has the chance to showcase their abilities and skills. It’s a safe environment where everyone can express themselves freely. It’s given me a chance to be able to connect with people from other schools who have the same interest and skillset as me along with giving me a chance to learn a lot from them
In the first session, I learnt how to avoid making a possible error one can go through while constructing their argument, logical fallacies. I experienced first hand, how to identify the various types of fallacies that one could find in arguments and use those errors to bolster one's own argument. One's always a learner and to learn about the various intricacies of debate, from experienced debaters of UAE, is something I probably would've never done, on my own
The first session was well handled and quite informative. We learnt about the different types of economies such as capitalist, socialist, etc and how to differentiate between them, how to explain the pros and cons of these economies in debates. We also learnt about supply and demand. It was a really useful session as we learnt new information which can be used in future debates
The third session, conducted by Vaishnav, went into certain economic terms we might encounter during our debating careers and what they mean. He gave us an insight into economic theory which we could use in our debates and economic theory that often comes up such as the trickle down effect and poverty trap. He gave us examples of common themes and substantives that proposition and opposition speakers could bring up in certain debates and possible POIs and Rebuttals to them. He also gave us some advanced tips and advice in general from his experience in debate. I really appreciated how much content he managed to cover and how much he covered certain topics in depth within the relatively short time period we had. It was a very insightful session and I've never gotten the opportunity to learn so much about economic theory with regards to debate which I feel is one area which I wish to explore further and I haven't gotten the opportunity to be trained by such experienced debaters before. EDS is a great platform to hone your debate skills and learn no matter what your level in debate is.