Debating: Battle of the minds
Arif Ashraf Nayan with Nazia Ahmed, Elita Karim, Rubayat Khan,
Emran Hossain.Tazmia Islam Nion, Mainul Hasan, Towsif Osman, Hammad Ali
Debating is considered a battle of the minds. But it's a healthy battle, a healthy competition that helps develop the mental faculties like quick thinking, ability to reason and face the audience with courage. It is encouraging to note that most of the educational institutes of the country are extending full support to the students and faculty members in their efforts to popularise debating as an extra-curricular activity. We are happy to inform our readers that our debaters have clichéd trophies in international debate competitions besides excelling on home turf. The spotlight in issue of Star Campus is on debating. We have managed to cover only some academic institutes and clubs because of time constraint. We wish to cover the debating activities of other academic institutes and clubs in one of our future issues.
However the academic institutes where debating is given full support include: Dhaka University, Chittagong University, Jahangirnagar University, Sylhet University of Science and Technology, Rajshahi University, Sylhet International University, North South University, Holy Cross College, Independent University of Bangladesh, AIUB, UIU, Stamford University, People University, South Asian University, State University, Islamic University Kushtia, Mymensingh Debate Federation, Pabna Debate Federation, Drishti, Global Village Rangamati.
Brief resume of the activities of some of these clubs is given below.
Dhaka University Debate Society
Dhaka University Debate Society is one of the pioneering powerhouses of debating in Bangladesh. Some of the greatest debaters of Bangladesh like Mahfuz Anam, Syed Manjurul Islam, Prof. M.M.Akash, Prof. S.I.Khan, Dr. Niamat Elahi, Biropakha Paul, Dr. Munir, Meher Nigar June, Al Mamun, A.K.M. Shoaib, Shamim Reza and many others are formers debaters of Dhaka university Debating Society. The name and fame of DUDS have travelled far and wide beyond the boundaries of Bangladesh.
DUDS was established in the year 1982 with the aim of creating a common platform for debaters of the different departments of Dhaka University. Initially the activities of DUDS was controlled and managed by the teachers of Dhaka University. However, in 1990 the sole control of the debate society went under the control of the students. The executive committee was elected twice a year till 1996 and then they had annual election for the executive committee.
Dhaka University Debate Society co-ordinates the debating activities of all the departments of Dhaka University. Dhaka University has 16 Halls each of which has its own debating club and works autonomously having individual moderators. However, Dhaka University Debate Club assists these individual debating clubs to organise different activities and workshops.
DUDS represents the official debating team of Dhaka University in the national and international arena. The different halls and clubs of DU organises workshops for training young debaters who are then recruited by DUDS to represent DU in various competitions at home and abroad. Among the various activities of DUDS there are some regular events organised on weekly, monthly and annual basis. DUDS organises weekly Bangla debate session on Thursday and English on Monday.
They also organise a weekly study circle where the debaters have an open discussion on various topics to expand their intellectual horizon. DUDS also organises inter department debate contest called Nafia Gazi Debate Competition which is dedicated to the departed soul of Nafia Gazi - a debater of DUDS. DUDS believes in regular training and development of the debaters of Dhaka University and organises inter-hall annual debate workshops for both English and Bengali debate.
DUDS has achieved the awards in almost every domain of debating in Bangladesh and participated in almost all major international debating competitions. Among the international competition that DUDS took part includes All Asian Debating Competition in 2004-05, Australasian Debate championship in 2004-05 and Worlds Debate in 2005.
In the national level DUDS participated in 9 debating contests out of which they became champion in 8 events and runner up in 1 event. Some of the milestones that DUDS achieved in the national debating level include being champion in the 4th Inter-university debate championship, champion in the Viquarunnisa debate competition in 2004-05 and Champion in Sher-e-Bangla debate competition in 2004. DUDS has also earned excellent reputation in organising National Inter-university debate competition in the year 1994, 1996 and in 2004.
Prof A.F.M Yousuf Haider the pro VC of Dhaka University is the Chief advisor of DUDS who heartily extends his help in all the DUDS activities. The moderator of DUDS is Prof. Syed Monjurul Islam and his relentless support is giving DUDS the ultimate edge in the field of debating. The current executive committee consists of 19 members among whom the President is Rashedul Alam Russel, the Vice Presidents are Tahmid Alam Amit, Uttam Roy and Mohsin Alam. The general secretary is Kamrul Islam. DUDS believes that it is a non political body and they are determined to keep politics out of debates.
Jahangirnagar University Debating Society
With the objective to promote English debate and speaking skills, a group of students of the departments of English and Business Administration formed Jahangirnagar University Debating Society (JUDS) in 1996. To cope with the race of globalisation the team felt it immensely that development in any sector including intellectual depends on how a man contemplate on things and observe his surroundings. And presentation of the conceived expression in a reasonable and rational way could bring about a change in the outlook of a man as well as society as a whole.
As there has been hardly any organisational practice in JU on debate and oratory skill, especially in English, the founder of JUDS had to face many obstacles in the way to develop the organisation. But they continued with the slogan "Let us be enlightened".
JUDS gave full effort to organize workshops and programmes relating to promoting speaking skill in English and with the huge response from the students, JUDS braved to send their representatives abroad for participating in debate competitions including Asian University Debate Championship held in Singapore and Malaysia in 1997 and 1998 respectively.
Then with the span of time activities of the organisation were expanded and widened through introduction of Bangla debate and open mike session as well. Debate and public speaking competitions in both intra and inter university levels have also been held by JUDS.
"We emphasise both on Bengali and English debate in JUDS. Despite many problems we hope our efforts will help build a better society," said Shahnewaz Kabir, member, technical committee, JUDS.
Of all the activities, the programmes that set up a milestone in the debate movement on the campus was "Close-up 4th Inter University Debate Championships" held in 1999. It is considered to be a milestone as it hosted debates in both Bangla and English language, adding a different flavor to the debate tradition on the campus for the first time. A total of 30 debating organisations from different educational institutions including public and private universities and medical colleges, participated in the programme. The final round of the programme was held in Muktamancha (Amphitheatre) and it was aired on "Channel i".
JUDS also organises study circles and special lectures attended by special guests.
Alongside JUDS, Jahangirnagar University Debating Organisation (JUDO) has also been working with the objective to speed up debate movement across the country including the public universities.
"We work for building a generation that will contemplate on issues in a distinctive and logical way," said Mamun Abdullah, president of JUDO.
Since inception, JUDO has arranged and participated in a number of debate programmes and competitions across the country.
JUDO clinched the title in National Debate Competition held in Comilla and was recognised as the best organiser participating in the workshop and debate festival held in Chandpur arranged by National Debate Federation (NDF). JUDO also participated in jury board, trainer, and organiser in different debating programmes held at Asian University, Viqarunnisa Noon School and Dhaka University since its inception in 2005. With the help of NDF, JUDO also worked with the marginalised people in Rangamati, Kushtia, Mymensingh and Gazipur.
National Debating Federation
The National Debate Federation (NDF) is shouldering the responsibility of giving a fruitful sequence in the debating arena, keeping the believes alive that it will be very difficult to perform this noble job single handedly. That's why the organisations moved forward from their very beginning with a number of reputable debating clubs across the country. More than fifteen private universities, twenty-five schools and colleges and ten non-educational debating organisations are working in the same platform. It's the first organisation that tried to bring all the debating forums across the country to popularise this trend at the root level of the whole country.
National Debating Federation is the pioneer in carrying the torch of debate to the grass root level of Bangladesh. Debate used to be practiced in a small scale in the rural areas of Bangladesh and the quality of debate was increasing in both rural and metropolitan areas of Bangladesh. To minimise this gap NDF took the initiative to pass the light of debate in the remotest part of Bangladesh with the aim to equip the rural students with value-based logical knowledge of their known world.
Currently around 365 schools, college and universities are attached with NDF. NDF is persistent with the improvement of these institutions and their activities include debate schooling, workshop, competition, career development programs. NDF has successfully organised National Debate festivals and leadership skills development workshops.
The main objective of NDF in taking debate to the districts and beyond to create social awareness among students on various social, political and economic issues to enhance and facilitate the development of value-based human resources. Preparing the next generation with vale-based knowledge and leadership skills to make each citizen a global player in the new era of globalisation. NDF has reached milestones even in the remotest part of Bangladesh including Khagrachari, Bandarban, Chittagong, Comilla, Sylhet, Mymensingh, Gazipur, Tangail, Pabna, Kushtia, Jessore, Rajshahi, Magura, Manikganj, Rongpur and Savar.
Among the recent achievements of NDF includes the successful completion of the Chandpur National debate festival and workshop. Recently they have also organized the 1st National Hill Debate Festival at Rangamati where 1500 debaters participated from all over the country. As many as 32 tribal groups were present in the gala festival. National Debating Federation is going to organise a divisional level debate festival and workshop in Sylhet and Rajshahi division with an inter school English and Bengali debate Championship.
National Debate Federation for the first time in the history of Bangladesh is on the verge of Organising the first SAARC inter university debate championship next year. The participants will be invited from leading universities from the seven SAARC member countries. The main aim of this endeavour is to develop a long lasting relationship with Bangladesh and the international debating organisations. Al these were possible because of the initiative of its visionary chairman Mr. A.K.M Shoaib who has devoted himself for the development of debate in Bangladesh. He has been practicing debate and was the champion in the National TV Debate Champion in '94-'95. NDF will heartily extend its help to all the interested institutions of Bangladesh for developing debate culture and for organising debate competitions and workshops.
Notre Dame Debating Club
Established in the year 1953, Notre Dame Debating club is the oldest debating club and has completed 50 years of its journey through fame and honour. The founder of NDCDC is Father R.W Tim, C .S.C. This Missionary college has produced eminent figures and great leaders so far, and the club itself has played active role in the process.
Recently the club recruited a member body of 78-second year students. According to the moderator Father Adam S. Pereira, half of the member body is actively participating in regular debates.
Notre Dame debating club organizes weekly and monthly debates that includes a series of debates with other school and colleges called 'Home and Away', which encourages young debaters of other institutions to come forward and practice their talents.
Mock debates and parliamentary debates are held through Inter-school/group/college debates all throughout the year.
Currently the debating club's administration body includes Mojahidunnobi Mitu (President), Tasriqul Islam Nibir (President of debating activities), S.M Afzalul Islam Choyon (Vice President-administration), Zubair Ahmed (Vice President Debate Activities), and K.M Iftekhar Hasan (general Secretary), who are actively working with the members of the debating crew. Every year the graduating students publishes a magazine on the debating club "Doiroth". That reflects all its achievements and activities throughout the year.
This club patronizes both English and Bengali debates. NDCDC honours its debaters with awards such as Honour for excellence, Honorary Salutation, Best Debater award, Man of the Year, Acclamatory Award, Award for Performance and Special award. The Notre Dame Debating club has been awarded the best Debating Club of Bangladesh, by Bangladesh debate federation in the year 2004.
One of the most important debates Notre Dame organises is the National Debate Festival, which has been going on since 1989, and is going to start again later this month for the 18th consecutive time.
As I took a trip to Notre Dame College, Father Adam Pereira talked about the club's alumni, and quoted an Ex Notredamian debater's quote, "Debate is not a program, it is a technique, a technique to master the way you think and work, promptly and in a polished manner."
Viqarunnisa Noon Debating Club
Viqarunnisa Noon Debating Club started its journey in the year 1990 with a mission to create a difference in the world of debate. Since then VDC has conducted various programmes on debates in Television, interschool, national and international level.
In the year 1991 VDC organised the first inter-college debate competition, and became the champion. Eventually they took part in district level competitions and earned considerable fame. Later in the year 1997 VDC participated in other competitions and progressed immensely.
The club conducts workshops, which is divided into two categories, at the school and college level. In these workshops they highlight the different techniques of conducting an effective debate such as, pronunciations, logic, information, and re-battles.
Viqarunnisa debating club has been patronising the students from the very first day of school. They regularly organise debates in the house meetings, science fairs, special festivals and on other occasions. This way students get to have a thorough practice and the audience who are not taking part also gets to understand the technique which helps them become strong and bold in the day to day life.
" We need eminent honest and logic oriented minds to rule this nation, It is through logical discussions and debates we ensure ourselves that we are on the right path and taking the right decisions, thus the need to practice debate is unbound"-ex-principal Hamida Ali.
NSUDC voicing out
Every individual has a voice that wants to vocal out to the world. It's not surprising when the young get together and reflect their opinions and thoughts out. They look for a platform where they can be heard and paid heed to. An educational institution can provide such a platform to the young and give them a chance to further educate themselves by free speech.
Amongst the 14 student clubs that North South University boasts, North South University Debate Club (NSUDC) is one of the most popular and most successful clubs in the university. Established in the year 1993, NSUDC happens to be the very first club that has won the highest number of trophies for NSU.
NSU Debate Club has been officially entrusted with the responsibility of putting NSU on the map as a regular participant in the World Universities Debate Tournament.
According to the members of NSUDC, the club has recently been ranked 63rd (http://www.debating.net/flynn/colpoint.htm) in the world out of over 500 Debate Clubs including the likes of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Princeton. NSUDC is ranked above reputed institutions like Lincolns Inn, Middle Temple, Vassar College, University of Waterloo and many more.
In recent years, the clubs boasts of holding the Championship and Runners up positions more than seven times, in Bangla Debate defeating tough competitors like Dhaka University, BUET, Gazipur IUT, IBA, Jahangirnagar University and others.
As far as English debate is concerned, NSUDC is the undisputed champion.
NSUDC also organises various seminars, workshops on various agendas and topics related to issues concerning young people, politics, media and many more in collaboration with various corporate giants.
The club also organises Open Mike Sessions on a regular basis in the NSU premises for students and teachers alike to come forward and take up the platform to speak up.
One of NSUDC's most important programmes is the Inter-University Debates that are held comprising of contestants representing universities from all over the country. Recently, the club organised the “3rd NSU Inter-University Debates Championship: Keeping the NSU Pride Alive” In association with MOJO, the club organized the 3rd Inter-University Debate Championship (IUDC). The IUDC was a month-long program incorporating the enlightened and competent young minds of this country its participating debaters. There were 16 institutions, with 25 teams and 75 participants. The participating institutions were NSU (North South University), IBA, BUET, IUB (Independent University of Bangladesh), LCLS (London College of Legal Studies), GOD (Group of Debaters), AIUB (American International University of Bangladesh), Gazipur IUT, Jahangirnagar University, BRAC, AUB (Asian University Bangladesh), UIU (United International University), Rajshahi University, Chittagong University and Sher-E-Bangla Medical College, respectively.
The club boasts of being the only club in Bangladesh, which won five Runner Up trophies along with a Championship trophy in Bangla debate in recent years and at the same time five Championship trophies in English debate.
There were preliminary knock-out rounds, followed by the semi-finals and finals, in the categories of both Bangla and English debates. The participating teams in the semi-finals for the Bangla debate were NSU-1 & 2 (Senior and Junior teams), BUET and GOD. The final round comprised of BUET (winners against NSU-1 in the semi-finals) and NSU-2 (winners against GOD in the semi-finals). BUET was crowned the Bangla Debate Champion of the 3rd IUDC, against NSU-2, with Suvarti Barua awarded as the best speaker. On the other hand, the contesting teams of the English semi-finals were NSU-1 against AIUB, and LCLS against Gazipur IUT, consequently followed by NSU-1 and LCLS as being the finalists. The NSU Debate Club recorded yet another excellence to its previous success stories, with NSU-1 being the 3rd IUDC English debate Champions, along with Khondker Zunaed Rabbani - the President of the NSU Debate Club, being awarded the best speaker.
Besides winning trophies in Bangladesh, NSU Debate Club is a regular participant in International Debate Tournaments. NSU was the very first university from Bangladesh to take part in the World Debate Championship, the most prestigious International Debate Tournament. Since 1993 NSUDC has been attending World Debate Championship every year and currently ranked the 2nd best team in the Sub Continent, only three places behind National Law School of India (Delhi).
In 2005 and 2006, the club attended the Asian Debate Championship, which is considered the main tournament participated by all the Asian countries. The club came 17th out of 96 competitive teams coming from many Asian countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, India, Pakistan and few others.
AIUB Oratory Club
AIUB Oratory Club popularly known as AOC is one of the strong and competitive forces in the arena of debating in Bangladesh. It started its journey in the year 1996 founded by Mr. Shiblee, a faculty member of AIUB, with the aim of enhancing the communication and leadership skill of the students of AIUB. However, the development of AOC was mostly done under the guidance of Mr. Rashedul Islam Pollob the former moderator of the club. Since its establishment it never looked back and made excellent reputation in the field of both English and Bengali debate. The debate club has made its impact both in the national and international field with countless prestigious awards. In the 4th Inter University Debate competition in the year 1999, which was Organised by Jahangir Nagar Debating Club, AOC was awarded the runner up position. Mosaddeq Hossain, one of the brightest debaters of Bangladesh is the product of AOC and he achieved the second runner up position in Prothom Alo public speaking contest 2002.
AOC also performed excellently in many national debating championships which was organised by reputable institutions like North South University, Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University, East West University, BUET and many others. AOC also performed extremely in the National Television Debate Competition and BTV UN Model Debate.
Besides achieving excellence in performing debate, AOC has also proved itself in organising workshops, seminars and debate festivals in the national level. In the year 2005, AOC supported the National Debating Federation for organising the 1st Hill Debate Championship in Rangamati with technical and logistic support. AIUB also prepared a documentary film for National Debating Federation called " Amra Korbo Joy " with the technical expertise of Mosaddeq Hossain and Russel.
In the gala festival 1500 debaters from all over the country participated with 32 tribal groups. Providing the technical logistic support to NDF reflects AOC's intention to spread the art of debating and public speaking at the grass root level of Bangladesh.
AIUB Oratory club has proved its excellence in public speaking in the international arena by winning the second runner up position in the International Cultural Contest held in Ludhiana, Punjab in India last year. A team of AIUB students went to India to participate in the competition and won several prizes in many categories. The other participants were from India, Pakistan, and South Africa. UK and Bangladesh. This success was possible because of the internal debating and public speaking workshop that AOC organises for its students. AOC organises intra-university annual public speaking contest both in Bengali and English to groom up young orators and debaters.
AOC also organises fun debates and role playing debates in many special occasions like Valentines Day, Victory Day , New Year, Pohela Boishakh etc.
Recently AOC has successfully organised the first AIUB - Banglalink debate week 2005. The year 2005 was a very special year for AIUB as Mr. Bidit Lal Dey a legendary debater of Bangladesh took control of AOC as the new moderator. AIUB-Banglalink Debate week was successful only because of the leadership skill of the new moderator and the organising skill of the former general secretary of AOC Mr. Sufi Mahmud.
For the first time in Bangladesh AOC put forth a common platform for both inter college and inter university debating clubs from across the country. The AOC has come so far because of the support of AIUB's management and faculties. AOC is heartily encouraged by the Director of student affairs Mr. Ehsan Uddin Ahmed who extends his help for developing the skill of the debaters of AIUB.
IUB Debating Club
IUB Debate Club provides opportunities to develop debating, public speaking and presentation skills. The Club organises workshops on debate and debating methods, besides practicing parliamentary debate and public speaking in both Bangla and English language to compete in national and international debate competitions. IUBDC activities helps to enhance confidence, acquire solid time management, research and organisational skills of students.
The university is proud of its debate team and its achievements at both national and international debating championships.
A six member IUB debating team had the unique opportunity to take part in the World Universities Debating Championship 2003 held at Stellenbosch, South Africa, an annual event attended by a multitude of students from across the world. As a follow up of participation in Stellenbosch World Debating Championship, two debating teams of IUB participated in the World Debate Championship 2005, held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia bringing laurels to the country with top scores ever secured by any Bangladeshi university team. The IUB debaters also took part in All Asian Universities Debating Championship held in Malaysia.
IUBDC also won the Daily Star - Viqarunnisa English Debate Championship 2002 and the Independence Day Debating Championship, organised by Dhaka University Debating Society.
East West University Debating Club
The East West University Debating Club (EWUDC) was formed in 1998. The club henceforth was very active and participated in Inter-university and International debating contests continuously, including the World University Debating Championships held in 2003 and 2004.
The EWUDC received the Best National Debating Club Performance Award in 2003-2004 organised by BDF and the British Council, Bangladesh. According to Prothom Alo polling results EWUDC has 56% preference among all the universities in Bangladesh. The EWUDC was ranked 1st in National Level Organising Status both in the year 2003 and 2004. EWUDC also performed remarkably in the WORLD UNIVERSITIES DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIP 2004 defeating universities like the University of British Colombia Canada, NY Mount Saint Vincent University of USA. The EWUDC, for the first time in Bangladesh, introduced the Worlds Format of debating in Inter Universities Debating Championship (IUDC).
Another First Time achievement on their shelf is the participation of highest number of universities in an IUDC. Hosted international adjudication test AIDA at EWU. Used television advertisement to promote IUDC.
The current president of the Club is Mahbub Manik who has been debating since school life. He is also the Chief Adviser of the Bangladesh Debating Council (BDC) and the president of Agrapathik Bangladesh (AB), a social welfare organisation. The General Secretary is Mahmud Naim and the Founder Chief Adviser of the Debating Club is the Honourable president of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh Professor Iaj Uddin Ahmed.
Rashedul Hasan Stalin is holding the position of the chair of the Bangladesh Debating Council (BDC). He recently participated in the World School Debating Championship (WSDC) as Bangladesh team manager and led the team to secure the 10th position for the first time in the history of WSDC.
Many other debaters who have made the EWUDC shine brighter are Imteaz Khan, Robert John Fraiser, Miraz Ahmed, Niaz Morshed Chowdhury, Anowarul Amim, Nazia Manzoor, Flora and Maksuda Hafiz.
Recent and upcoming activities
The Inter-Department Debating Championship qualifying rounds were held on 1st and 2nd August, 2006 and the final competition was held on the 8th. The categories the participants competed in are Debate, Public Speaking and Anchoring, both in English and Bengali medium. The format followed for Debating is the World Universities Debating format in which four teams compete at the same time, two teams on the Government side and two teams on the Opposition side.
The EWUDC also organised nine hours of debating workshop in the summer semester of 2006 in which a guest instructor, Mr. Abdul Latif, gave lectures on debating and its techniques. Mr. Abdul Latif is the head of Speech and Interpersonal Communication Enhancement Department of International Islamic University, Malaysia. He is also the Deputy Chief Adjudicator (DCA) for the upcoming All Asian University Debating Championship in 2007. The workshop was intended to help its club members and other interested individuals. On its list of upcoming events are Intra university debating championship, triangular debate championship, national debating championship and many other events.
UIU Debate Club(UIUC)
United International University always supports debating as an extra-curricular activity and with this aim United International University Debating Club (UIUDC) was formed. Ms. Mahfuja Malik is the current Moderator of UIUDC.
UIUDC was established in February, 2004. Within a few months of establishment the club organised 1st Intra-University Debate Competition .
Then the club went on to organise United International University Debate Championship. All together 18 debating clubs including Dhaka University Debate Society and BUET debating club participated at the event. In 2005 UIUDC took part in Viqarunnisa Noon Debate Championship and Defeated Stamford University Bangladesh. Then in AIUB Debate Championship it defeated the hosts and reached the quarterfinals.
Later it participated in Victory Day Debate Competition, Ekushey Hall Debate Competition, Bangladesh Agricultural University Debating Competition, North South University Debating Competition and many more.
Its greatest victories were scored against the NSU Debating club, AIUB debating club, Asian University Debating Club.
In 2006 UIUDC participated in National Television Debate Championship.
The club members are determined to maintain good record. For this the club members meet every week to review their weeklong performance.
UIU is organising United International Debate Champion ship in September 2006. The three-day long programme will start from 3rd September and is expected to be attended by more than 30 debate clubs from all over the country.
Stamford University Debate Club
On July 13 the final round of Aktel Drissti Championship was held at Chittagong. The participants were DU, Stamford University, CUET and Premier University. Stamford University Debate team won the Trophy.
Stamford University established its debate club in 2004. It is known as Stamford Debate Forum (SDF). It is powered by a number of talented, workaholic members with some of the most influential teachers as coordinators.
The members of SDF are handpicked very carefully. If one wants to join the club then the individual will have to climb many stairs. He will have to go through language and communication tests, spoken skill tests, general knowledge test and so on. If one survives through all the steps only then he can be a member of the team.
"The selection process is designed to maintain quality because the best always wins," said Tahsian Yasmin.
Each year SDF organises intra-varsity tournaments besides competing in dozens of tournaments around the country.
Apart from debating SDF also participates in different social; activities and events. Its recent participation was the collection of supplies for the desperate people in Monga Troubles Regions.
BRAC University Debating Club
Popularly known as BUDC it was established in the year of 2001
With the objectives: To enable the students to think logically.
Improve analytical ability and rational thinking skills, and be a better listener, speaker and presenter. The patron of the club is Prof. Manzoorul Islam, and the current advisors are: Bushra Tawfiq Chowdhury, Lecturer, CSE, Farzana Rashid, Lecturer, CSE, Naira Khan, Lecturer, ENH, and A. Ahmed Muntahi, Lecturer, CSE.
Since its establishment in 2001, the BRAC University Debating Club (BUDC) suffered from shortage of interest on the part of the students, most likely stemming from the fact that there were not too many students who had prior experience in taking part in debating. Also, constant changes in the advisory board meant that there was too much of starting over and not many of the plans the advisors had could be properly implemented. However, in late 2004 a new group of advisors, all active debaters in their own times, took over BUDC and the club finally started seeing more regular events and greater participation from the students. It is also safe to say that the increase in number of students at BU was also a catalyst for the Debating Club.
The newly organised BUDC made its presence felt by organising an informal, lively open discussion at the University Cafeteria on 30th March, 2005. The topic of the discussion was “What is more important love or money?” More than anything else, this event turned out to be what was needed to revive interest in debating among the students. Within a month, BUDC had sent students to the Inter University Public Speaking Championship 2005 organised by the Dhaka University Debating Society. Mahdin Mahboob, a student of the ECE programme was among the final ten participants.
On 28th September 05, BUDC organised a workshop entitled 'Workshop on English Debating." This being the first workshop in almost a year was received with great enthusiasm and exuberance by the students. Guest speakers spoke on the occasion on improving debating and public speaking skills. After the workshop a mock debate was held. On 30th November, the certificates for this workshop were handed out. An intra-university public speaking competition was also held simultaneously. The competition was judged by lecturers Shuchi Karim(E), Tanzir Ahmed Chowdhury, Peter Cronin, Naira Khan and coordinated by Abdussamad Ahemed Muntahi.
On 6th March 06, a workshop was organised chiefly to welcome the freshers, and it was decided that this should become a regular pattern in each semester. The workshop consisted of ice-breaking activities and short demo debates. On 24th March a BUDC team participated in the EXIMBANK-AUB National Debate Championship '06. Although the team did not win, one of the speakers, Fahmida Wadud Chaity, was judged as the best speaker.
BUDC is encouraging its students to participate in events large and small and build on the experience they gather, regardless of rank achieved in these events. In the future, the advisors and senior members plan on recruiting new students and gradually pass on the mantle to them.
The People's University of Bangladesh's (PUB) Debating Club
The People's University of Bangladesh's (PUB) also encourages debating activities among students. The School of Business Administration has recently organised 'Inter University Business Debate Competition-2006. It began on 5th August, 2006 and ended on 17 August. Following universities attended the competition: Dept. of Management Studies, Dhaka University, Dept. of Finance, Dhaka University, Daffodils International University, Stamford University, Asian University of Bangladesh, Northern University, Victoria University (Bangladesh Campus), University of New Castle (USA). Two teams of the host university (PUB) have also participated in the competition.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006