Debate Union Spotlight: Emily Collier
Today, we spoke with freshman Emily Collier. Emily is a political science and biology major, and she has been to seven tournaments so far this season. She has seen success in tournaments all over the region, including those in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi. Today we asked her to share some of her thoughts about the Drury Debate Union and the tournaments she has traveled to.
Who are you, and why do you debate?
My name is Emily Collier, and I’m from Caney, Kansas, which is a tiny town in Southeast Kansas. I’ve been debating since I was in 8th grade, so I’m currently in my 6th year of debate. During my senior year, I had decided that I wouldn’t be debating in college. Then Professor Deberry started recruiting me and I decided to give it a try.
What has been the Debate Union’s biggest highlight so far?
I’d say that the club’s biggest highlight this semester was the first tournament. No one expected Drury to do well at the first tournament, but then we came out with an incredibly strong showing. Almost everyone came home with a trophy from that tournament, and we got a sweepstakes trophy. Overall, it was just a stellar experience.
What is your biggest highlight this so far?
My biggest highlight was probably the last tournament of first semester, when I made it to quarterfinals in individual debate. It seemed like it was a huge tournament, and I was honored to break, let alone advance through a couple out rounds. Plus I got to beat the best speaker at the tournament, so that was a huge confidence boost.
How would you describe the Drury Debate Union? What is it like?
The Debate Union is incredibly close knit. We’ll always protect and be proud of each other. We do our fair share of joking around and having a good time, but we also know when to buckle down and focus. I love everyone on the team.
What would you say to donors out there?
First, I want to thank our donors. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to travel, and establish Drury in IPDA debate. I think I speak for the entire team when I say your generosity is incredible. Secondly, I’d like to ask for your continued support. Our program is very young, but off to some very bright beginnings. With the help of our donors, our success will only increase from here.
What would you say to potential students looking to join the debate union?
To any students thinking about joining the Debate Union: It can be daunting to try to join a group of people that are already this tight knit. But you should give it a shot. We’re a very accepting group of people, and you might end up loving debate. At the beginning of the year, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be on the team, but after the first tournament, I realized how great everyone is and decided to stay. So if you’re even considering joining, I just urge you to at least give it a shot.
What is something that surprised you about the Drury Debate Union?
What really surprised about the Debate Union is how easy it is to make friends. I expected it to be more like a class, and less like a team. I’m so grateful that it turned out to be the latter.