A history of student empowerment and success.
With over 75 years of history, the Western Debate Union has strived to empower students to be agents of change in their communities by developing skills in communication, argumentation, and research. The program strives for success in three areas:
COMMUNITY BUILDING: The WDU hosts multiple public events on campus each year. Events range from hosting international tours (such as the Rwandan International Debate Tour and the Irish National Champion team), debate-watch events, and community advocacy trainings.
COMPETITION: The WDU participates in PNW Debate, intercollegiate NDT/CEDA policy debate, and public debates with schools from around the region and country. Western students engage and compete with peers from some of the country's best public and private universities.
GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT: The WDU believes democratic empowerment doesn't stop at the country's border. We have participated internationally throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.
WHERE HAVE WE GONE THROUGH DEBATE?
WESTERN DEBATE'S PHILOSOPHY
The activity of debate is a unique opportunity for students to exert personal control over their intellectual development. A successful debater is one that can think for themselves and still be a part of the greater community of persons and ideas. The WDU believes in a student-first approach.
As a means to affirm and develop this attribute, Western’s program provides opportunities for students to take part in the choices that effect their participation and competitive experience. These decisions involve colleague choice, tournament selection, and argument composition. The coaches are available for consultation and guidance on these matters, but ultimate responsibility lies with the student.
The coaches take responsibility for issues of team management and organization, and make sure that the access to the privileges of the team are based on the merit of effort. The goal is to operate within a framework of consensus for squad level decisions, and to make sure that student input and discourse are elements in the decision making process.