The last afternoon attendees of the largest Novice Retreat in RUDU history, along with the remaining staffers.  Many people had other orientations or moved in on Day Three, so were unable to be a part of the official picture.  Left to right:  Maxwell Williams, Ali Ismail, Karla Velasquez, Chris Baia, Ashley Novak, Morgan Lau, Gordon Morrisette, Pardip Kaur, Asha Kapengut, Joe Casais, Quinn Maingi, Sierra Gratale, Ryan McCotter, Rachel Moon, Lin Lan, Deepta Janardhan, John Kral, Amanda Fins, Shant Mirzoyan, Jeremy Scardino, Marcos Gonzalez, Sean Leonard, Akhmad Ernazarov, Suraj Oza, Justin Liu, and Storey Clayton.  (Not pictured:  Atif Ahmad, Neil Bhavsar, Rosalie Carvalho, Michelle Choi, Regan Clarke, Brooke Dekolf, Sweta Devarajan, Victoria Disla, Jared Durgasingh, Toni Gingerelli, Mitchell Healy, Van Huynh, Alex Jubb, Jen Kim, Nisha Kumar, Rudy Loka, Joyce Macaraeg, Prasad Prayaga, Rang Ramji, Scott Richmond, Donalene Roberts, Jeremy Savarin, Vidhaath Sripathi, Eric Sun, Maegan Sunaz, Sophia Sung, Saba Udaipurwala, and Alexandra Vasconez.)
The last afternoon attendees of the largest Novice Retreat in RUDU history, along with the remaining staffers. Many people had other orientations or moved in on Day Three, so were unable to be a part of the official picture. Left to right: Maxwell Williams, Ali Ismail, Karla Velasquez, Chris Baia, Ashley Novak, Morgan Lau, Gordon Morrisette, Pardip Kaur, Asha Kapengut, Joe Casais, Quinn Maingi, Sierra Gratale, Ryan McCotter, Rachel Moon, Lin Lan, Deepta Janardhan, John Kral, Amanda Fins, Shant Mirzoyan, Jeremy Scardino, Marcos Gonzalez, Sean Leonard, Akhmad Ernazarov, Suraj Oza, Justin Liu, and Storey Clayton. (Not pictured: Atif Ahmad, Neil Bhavsar, Rosalie Carvalho, Michelle Choi, Regan Clarke, Brooke Dekolf, Sweta Devarajan, Victoria Disla, Jared Durgasingh, Toni Gingerelli, Mitchell Healy, Van Huynh, Alex Jubb, Jen Kim, Nisha Kumar, Rudy Loka, Joyce Macaraeg, Prasad Prayaga, Rang Ramji, Scott Richmond, Donalene Roberts, Jeremy Savarin, Vidhaath Sripathi, Eric Sun, Maegan Sunaz, Sophia Sung, Saba Udaipurwala, and Alexandra Vasconez.)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) held its largest ever Novice Retreat over the last three days at the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) on the College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick. From Wednesday, August 28th through today, 43 new recruits to the Debate Union gathered with two coaches and nine varsity debaters for an intensive and fun training, including workshops, games, demonstration rounds, and lots of practice.

The first Retreat to have more than 30 attendees, this one had over forty people show up on the first day and nearly that many return for the second. The third day was a bit smaller, as many new novices had to move in or attend campus orientations today.

RUDU has been holding Novice Retreats of some kind for five years, but this is the third year of multi-day events hosted by SC&I, who co-sponsors the Debate Union. The second Novice Retreat this year is a two-day event on Sunday and Monday and will have a much smaller, but no less dedicated enrollment.

As per usual, this year’s new novice class seemed to enjoy the debate games and drills the best, including the ever-popular Two-Minute Drill. A great deal of improvement was seen among all attendees from the first day to the last.

This year’s Retreat graduates will be competing as part of perhaps the most exciting and skilled incarnation of a Rutgers debate team in history. Ranked third in the country last year, RUDU stands poised to contend for one of the top two spots in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) standings this season. The 28-weekend season begins in one week at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.