Debate association of Ewha (DAE) is an English debate club which was founded in 2005. Starting off with just a few English Language and Literature major students, currently, we have more than 20 members from diverse majors and backgrounds.
DAE debates in the format of parliamentary debate, where government bench defends and opposition bench opposes a given motion. We debate on various themes, such as politics education, media, morality, criminal justice system, gender, race, democracy, international relations and more. Parliamentary debate has strict time rules: a demanding 15 to 30 minutes of preparation time before the match begins and an exciting seven minutes of speech time given to each speaker to speak their ideas at the podium without disturbance.
“I think it’s really fun and challenging because you cannot decide which bench you want to be on,” said Kim Yi-young, the vice president of DAE and a junior in Public Administration. “So, if I’m on government bench no matter what my personal stance may be, I have to defend the motion; and if I’m on the opposition bench. I hated this at first, but I was able to think outside my box and even expand it by necessarily thinking from the perspective of someone I would normally disagree with. Surprisingly, often, I would come to see the legitimacy behind their reasoning and maybe even change my thoughts after the debate was over.”
“Also, I think the merit of DAE is that in a friendly atmosphere, we learn how to cooperate with our team members and build confidence as we make speeches before others,” said Kim Do-won, a sophomore majoring in Economics.
DAE also has many opportunities to debate with students outside of Ewha and sometimes even Korea. As a member of Korea Intervarsity Debate Association (KIDA), the biggest intervarsity debate association in Korea, DAE participates in KIDA tournaments such as Sogang Rookie Tournament, Korea National Championship, KIDA Open, and Pro-Amateur Tournament and holds joint sessions with other university debate clubs in KIDA.
“While domestic tournaments are exciting in their own way, 2017 Dutch World University Debate Championship (WUDC) was truly an eye-opener as I debated with renown debaters from all over the world,” said Kim Ji-won, a senior in Communication and Media. “It was a special opportunity as I shared ideas with people from various walks of life after the debates.”
This past winter vacation, on January 16 and 17, DAE hosted the KIDA Pro-Amateur Tournament on Ewha campus. This tournament has a rule that each team must consist of one pro debater and one amateur debater. From DAE, Professor Peter Kipp participated as the pro and Kim Ye-in, a senior in English Education, as the amateur. This tournament had a high pool of debaters as there were no amateur-amateur teams. Nevertheless, Professor Kipp and Kim earned the title of grand finalists.
“This tournament meant a lot to me because DAE hosted it and all my friends were in the organization committee,” Kim said. “Yet, this tournament was all the more special because I made it into the final round, something I had hoped for but didn’t dare expect. It was truly an honor. I believe I have made another unforgettable memory.”
Kim also recalled her early days in DAE.
“I joined DAE last semester and I am learning so much,” Kim said. “Not only debate, but just thinking logically and critically about diverse issues. I believe my English is improving as we must make our persuasive, effective speeches in English. But of course, it’s really the delivered thought that matters.”
As a president of DAE, I would like to emphasize a few things. Debate is a sport of argumentations over controversial issues which allows the exchange of diverse opinions without insult or derogation. It is what develops and sustains a democratic society. Also, debate expands perspective and deepens critical and logical thinking. I am really glad I joined DAE because not only have I made such great friends here but because I know that DAE is preparing me for society.