RUDU: Where Every Member is a Leader

Here’s what Rachel from the Rutgers University Debate Union has to say about leadership.

One of the most important qualities for a leader to have is his or her ability to communicate well with others. You could be the most intelligent person with the grandest ideas for the world, but if no one knows what you’re talking about, the chances that anyone would follow your lead on any of your ideas are pretty slim. In order to successfully lead any group of people and be a true leader, one must emanate conviction and be able to meaningfully articulate that conviction – this is precisely what makes RUDU an organization full of leaders.

Many intelligent individuals struggle with conveying their thoughts to others, and this is where members of RUDU come out on top. We compete in American Parliamentary style of debate, commonly referred to as APDA. APDA debates are not research-based; instead, we rely on our ability to string logic together in order to persuade anyone of anything with sheer common knowledge. Though the debates do have certain rigid structural rules to which we must adhere, the topic of debate is always up to the individual, thus allowing a free flow of discourse about anything and everything on a subject of the individual’s choosing. This freedom is what has shaped me, along with everyone else on RUDU, to be a better leader. Every member of our team is able to discuss the ethical, philosophical, and practical points of every controversy or question in a convincing and coherent fashion, and this has enabled us to be critical thinkers who can voice our opinions to others.

Because the nature and style of our debates are so free, we always find ourselves engaging in conversations and having meaningful discourse with one another on ideas, current events, and more. As a result, we have all become individuals who are able to clearly communicate and think about both sides of any issue. In doing so, we’ve grown to be fearless when speaking our minds, and while we voice these opinions of ours, we are able to persuade others to see our side of the issue, which I think is an incredibly useful skill for any leader. This skill is one that the members of RUDU have all mastered, and I can say with absolute sincerity that all of our members are leaders in their own rights, and they would be commanding leaders in any organization or field of work they choose. That we’ve been able to acquire such invaluable communication and leadership skills while also finding some of our best friends on the team has been an amazing experience, and I only have the highest hopes for our team’s future.

**Rutgers Debate Union meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 pm in Murray Hall, College Avenue. All of our meetings are open to newcomers at any point of the year, and no experience is necessary to join. For more information, please visit our website, or email us at

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