What impression do ordinary Koreans get when told about debating? They might presume it has nothing to do with them, or even hope that fortunately, they would have no chance to participate in one throughout their lives. And imagine the eccentric looks they would give when urged to join a debate delivered in English! In general, many Koreans have an acute “phobia” for debating and a debate in a foreign language would certainly be scary for most of them. There is, however, a dongari which may be able to wipe out such chronic, irritating concerns and will make you feel much more comfortable and have more confidence in yourself in a debate.
SNUDA, the only official English debate club in SNU, is currently playing such a role. Despite its short history, this dongari is very systematic and well-organized. Along with the organized system, every member is eager enough to make other skeptical newcomers also become enthusiastic about debating. This enthusiasm was not an exception with their meeting with the Quill. Four members of the club, including the president, have joined the interview and gave advices and tips on debating.
Origin & History
SNUDA started in 2007 by Park Joon-yeong(02’ College of Business) and his friends. Park has felt that the most efficient way to improve their English skills in overall was to debate in English. So the English debate club was introduced to SNU. At first the club mainly consisted of students from the College of Business but as more and more students from other departments joined the club, the club went through gradual changes and became more professional. Many members of the club had participated in debate matches held in Korea, have gained many glories, and are eager to win the International Championship.
The club activities are mainly divided into two categories; SNUDA members have “Regular Sessions,” and participate in debating competitions. The regular sessions are again, divided into two parts. During the “Debating Process” members of the club have a practice debate so as to enhance the members’ debating ability. On the “Issue Presentation,” members gather information needed for the debate from various fields of studies. Then there is the “Debating Competition” which is mandatory for all SNUDA members. All members of SNUDA take part in their first KNC(Korea National Championship) match. This is the opportunity to show and prove their improvements on debating.
The activities of SNUDA are not confined solely to debating, however. It is an English debate club, but at the same time it is a dongari. The whole atmosphere of the club could be somewhat strict but naturally, there are activities such as MTs and KIDA parties for members to bond together with less tension.
Interview with SNUDA
Two brief yet important questions were prepared and answered by the president and the members of the club to learn more about SNUDA.
Q. What is the general aim of your club?
A. Park Joon-yeong(02’ College of Business) - Our eventual goal is to win the International Championship. And we also hope that debating would flourish among SNU students. We are planning various projects so that SNU students could become more familiar and eager towards debating. In the fall semester, for instance, we are planning to host the National Championship debate. We are also thinking of publishing some manuals on English debating so that more students, even students with no experience could know about debating skills and take an interest in it.
Q. What is SNUDA like? Tell us about the activities, the atmosphere, and the merits of SNUDA.
A. Kim Sae-jik(02’ College of Natural Science) – My friends suggested me to join SNUDA. At the recruiting session of the club, I felt that this was the perfect club I had dreamt of. The untiring passion of the members, the promising improvement of one’s English speaking ability, and the thorough and systematic programs were so impressive that I couldn't help applying for the club right away. After entering SNUDA, I became more and more interested in debating. As a result, a person who once had difficulty to speak his opinion to many people has become surprisingly more confident and logical. I've taken part in some leagues since 2007, and now works as the administrator of the club.
A. Park Sae-seul(08’ College of Business) - Actually, I'm rather familiar with debating because I have joined many championships in high school. When I entered the SNU, at first I didn’t know there was an English debate club in this university. So it was not until sometime after that I got to know about SNUDA. At first, I was rather apprehensive because for me, the club seemed to be a bit ‘loose’ compared to other clubs that I have joined before. I now find, however, that worry was a groundless thought. I feel happy and content when I think of everything of SNUDA.
Many difficulties followed after SNUDA has been founded, as is often the case of every association in the beginning. It has been even harder for them because the club dealt with both “debate” and “English” – the two features quite disliked by many Korean students. The members of SNUDA, however, have strived and progressed day by day and are finally anticipating to win the International Debating Championship. SNUDA would be an ideal dongari for students interested in English and debating and who are willing to work hard and aim at a higher goal.
written by: Gang-ik Ju