A history of competitive excellence
Who are we?
Yonsei Underwood Union, founded in 2006, is South Korea’s first English debate club and a member institution of Korea Intervarsity Debate Association (KIDA). With continuous strides towards excellence in both a competitive and educational sense, we have undoubtedly become South Korea’s premier debating institution. YUU has won multiple national championships, including the most recent iteration, and is the first and only South Korean team ever to qualify for the world debating championship. This dedication to debate is well characterized by our motto, First and the Best. In addition, we pride ourselves in being the most multinational and culturally diverse debating society in Korea, as we recruit and accept members from all over the world.
Our club’s focus lies primarily in 3 things. These are debate sessions, matter case studies, and tournament participation. Doing them regularly and with rigour is what has helped build our club into becoming a reputable and competitive debating society both domestically and internationally.
Our weekly debate sessions run every Tuesday and Thursday from 7pm to 10pm, which gives us ample time to practice and improve our members debating skills, as well as teach our incoming members, or rookies. Each session is unique from the other due to the lectures given at the beginning of the sessions, either from experienced members of YUU, YUU alumni along with guest lecturers invited by YUU. Starting each semester from introducing debate format and structure to more complex explanations, we are continually able to teach new members whilst still providing ample resources for more experienced members to continue learning. After the lectures, we go through full debate rounds to prepare for upcoming tournaments and to gain practical experience debating. All debates are judged and the debaters receive thorough feedback from the adjudicators at the conclusion of the debate.
The motions used in debates are generally linked by a theme, which can range from social issues like education and feminism, to political topics like international relations. When debating with these themes, they often require a meticulous strategic approach and a certain level of in-depth knowledge. Due to this, we regularly have case studies on these themes in order to better understand the topics that are being debated. Although this does require an additional amount of individual effort, we provide ample resources and methods to study these topics. Not only does this help members with debate, it helps additionally by learning new things and gaining knowledge.
As a competitive club, we go to various tournaments domestically and internationally, and often achieve outstanding results. YUU is well known for breaking(qualifying to elimination stages) almost all teams we send to the Korean National Championships(KNC), and we often achieve good results in open tournaments and within the North East Asian circuit. Furthermore, we are the only team to have broken at the World University Debating Championships(WUDC), which is considered the largest annual debate tournament in the world. Not only are tournaments the place where debaters improve their skills the most, but we are also able to meet and bond with other debating institutions within KIDA and around the world.
Seokho Daniel Yoon
Founder of Debate Korea. Convener of WUDC 2021. Debate Coach at Cornell.
It is rare for a university debate club to remain in the hearts and minds of alumni years after they have moved on into the world. I can confidently say that Yonsei Underwood Union is one of those rare clubs. As the only debate society in Korea to have ever sent a team to the elimination rounds of the world championships, I am honored to recommend YUU to you!