By Reaksmey Cheng
The University of Cambodia Speech and Debate Society (UCSDS), formerly known as the University of Cambodia Debate Club (UCDC), held its first meeting in 2011 on January 29, and has held weekly meetings every Saturday since then to promote critical thinking, speaking, and debating skills among UC students.
|Members of UCSDS posed for a picture after one of their weekly meetings.|
Over 40 students attended the first meeting, which focused on reintroducing the student organization to UC students and providing an overview of the group’s purpose and goals. The second meeting introduced the structure of a debate, and students were divided into two groups to practice an impromptu debate. Students also discussed ideas for the organization’s logo and agreed to the new name for the organization. Subsequent meetings have focused on building camaraderie amongst members, increasing membership, and the upcoming officer election process.
Elections for UCSDS will be held in late April, and all interested students are encouraged to run for office and help build the capacity of the student organization.
UCSDS will offer both speech and debate training to academic students at UC. The student organization will begin training students on how to debate in the Australian-Asian style, which is common in the region and what the students are used to; however, the long-term goal includes teaching students how to debate in two other parliamentary debate styles common among university students around the world: British and American. UCSDS also plans to help students learn how to prepare for and compete in three types of speech events: limited preparation events, such as extemporaneous and impromptu speaking; public address events, such as persuasion and oratory; and acting and interpretation events, such as dramatic and humorous interpretation.
Ieng Chankreusna, a current member of UCSDS and former UCDC officer, said that she was very excited to see the organization active again because many students at UC are interested in learning how to debate effectively and enjoy participating in competitions.
Sen Sopheara, another member of UCSDS, said he was excited and happy to join UCSDS because it will help to improve his skills.
“The University of Cambodia is one of the top ten universities in Cambodia,” he said. “The club is a good place for me to learn from experienced students, and I can practice my public speaking and debate skills.”
|Members participated in training sessions to improve their communication and leadership skills.|
He added that one of his goals is to become one of the best public speakers in Cambodia.
UC students who are interested in becoming UCSDS members must complete an application form. In addition, the University welcomes the participation of UC alumni who are interested in coaching current students.
An Advisory Committee to UCSDS will serve to provide strategic guidance for the student organization and to strengthen its capacity and reach. It is comprised of all the Deans and Associate Deans of the colleges, as well as members of the UC Executive Team.
UCSDS has been officially recognized as a UC student organization by H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of UC and Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister.
Source: UC Bulletin March 2011, Page 19