The graduates of the 2012 RUDU Novice Retreat I gather for a picture on their final day before joining the club officially, alongside their varsity helpers and coaches. Left to right: Alice Huang, Chris Bergman, Ed Bibiano, Kurt Falk, Rob Rizal, Kira Kaur, Ashley Novak, Sean Leonard, Shweta Mahajan, Bhargavi Sriram, Jonathan Shao, Alex Jubb, Jane Buslovich, Sahil Bambulkar, Deepta Janardhan, Oksana Soomai, David Awad, Nisha Kumar, Dariene Sy, Josh Gresack, Kai Rau, Alex Martinho, Chris Baia, Shreyas Jaganmohan, and Nicholas Raffa. (Not pictured: Aishwarya Sharma, Edwin Amar, Nicole Niemec, Pooja Rana, Prajna Madhusudhan, Richard Krupczak, Riti Khamgaonkar, and Storey Clayton)

The Executive Board, Coaches, and some additional leaders of the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) spent the last three days in various classrooms of Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information (SC&I) teaching the fine art of debate to the next generation of RUDU novices.

The intense three-day schedule of the Novice Retreat has been honed and perfected over the last four years, and is still being improved to best teach and inspire incoming and returning Rutgers students to develop their parliamentary debate skills. The first Retreat this year was the largest ever at Rutgers, with twenty-five new members watching demo rounds, playing debate games, participating in workshops, and having plenty of practice rounds.

The Retreat concluded just a week before the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) season opens at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. RUDU is coming off its two most successful seasons ever, being ranked 5th and 9th overall respectively. With the promising group of new novices, a top-ten finish seems to be in the cards again in 2012-2013.

But this first section is only about half of the incoming novice class getting trained before the start of classes on Tuesday. A second, condensed Retreat will be held on Sunday and Monday in SC&I. That kicks off at 10:00 AM in SC&I room 201 and will cover the same material with almost as many people as the first Retreat.

RUDU’s first full club meeting of the year is Tuesday, September 4th at 9:00 PM.