The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) held its largest ever Novice Retreat over the last three days at the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) on the College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick. From Wednesday, August 28th through today, 43 new recruits to the Debate Union gathered with two coaches and nine varsity debaters for an intensive and fun training, including workshops, games, demonstration rounds, and lots of practice.
The first Retreat to have more than 30 attendees, this one had over forty people show up on the first day and nearly that many return for the second. The third day was a bit smaller, as many new novices had to move in or attend campus orientations today.
RUDU has been holding Novice Retreats of some kind for five years, but this is the third year of multi-day events hosted by SC&I, who co-sponsors the Debate Union. The second Novice Retreat this year is a two-day event on Sunday and Monday and will have a much smaller, but no less dedicated enrollment.
As per usual, this year’s new novice class seemed to enjoy the debate games and drills the best, including the ever-popular Two-Minute Drill. A great deal of improvement was seen among all attendees from the first day to the last.
This year’s Retreat graduates will be competing as part of perhaps the most exciting and skilled incarnation of a Rutgers debate team in history. Ranked third in the country last year, RUDU stands poised to contend for one of the top two spots in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) standings this season. The 28-weekend season begins in one week at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.