Debate. Why do I love debate so much? Honestly, I don’t. I LIKE debate. I LOVE the work behind debate. Two very different things. How did I get involved in debate in the first place? Well, it all started in school when I joined the English Club ever since primary school. I went to 2 different schools, Tarcisian Convent School (TCS) and Methodist Girls’ School (MGS) but I wasn’t really active in debate then, instead I was active in public speaking and story telling competitions, Girl Guide Association, swimming and bowling. So, when did I exactly become actively involved in debate? Here’s my story.

The year was 2007, and I was in my first semester. Few weeks after I got into UiTM Penang, I met one of my seniors in school and now was a senior in UiTM Penang – Nurul Hidayah Ghozali a.k.a Nelly. I still remember the first time I met her on campus at the food court. She smiled and asked me was I from MGS Ipoh and I said yes and she said she and her sister were from MGS too and I trained bowling with her sister in 2003, 2004. At first I did not recall and finally I remembered I used to smile at her in school and also my mom knows her mom and and and not to forget, she’s the best debater in school. So we talked about school and other stuff and finally she asked me if I would be interested to join the debate club and I immediately agreed.

Few days after our so called ‘reunion’, I attended the Annual Grand Meeting. I was elected as the assistant secretary to Amanda Tahir, who was the secretary at that time. I was so happy. I had learned a lot of things from her and also the other seniors from writing letters to the protocols. The next semester, the 2nd semester I was elected as the secretary. I became the secretary for one year and at the same time I was the secretariat for the Setiausaha Agung, Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar (MPP). From there I learned more things and I’ve met a lot of people including the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor of UiTM. I’ve gained a lot of experiences when I was the secretariat.

During the 3rd semester in 2008, the Debate Society of UiTMPP organized our very own first debate tournament, the Occupational Safety and Health Intervarsity Debating Tournament a.k.a OSHIDT (Oh Shit!) Nelly was the program director along with Fatasya (Acha), Emir (Mok) and I was the program secretary. It wasn’t easy for us to organize such huge tournament for the first time. I’ve experienced organizing bowling tournaments before but not as huge as this. OSHIDT was our baby and we had to make sure that everything turns out as planned. It took us more than 3 months to organize OSHIDT whereby we had to find sponsorships, participants, hotel for the grand dinner etc etc. Lucky for us, everyone cooperated. I still remember Nelly, Acha, Mok, Iylia Anis, Fattah, Nia, Arm, Udin, Faiz, Dayah Maksom, Yang and myself stayed in Penang for 2 weeks during our semester break to settle everything. We had sacrificed our holidays to make sure that our baby goes well. Take note that we were working in Penang and the tournament was held in Shah Alam. Allowances were given to us but none of us took even a single cent out of it as the money went into OSHIDT account. After 3 very busy weeks in Penang, finally it was time for us to go to Shah Alam. The 4 day tournament ran smoothly and at the end of the day, we were very much delighted and overjoyed with the outcome of our work.

In my 4th semester I was elected as the Senior Vice President of my beloved club. We did not organize any tournaments but we took part in debate tournaments. In 2009, I took part in only 3 tournaments, Novice Cup, Arau Open and VC Cup and it was during Novice I met this lovely guy and surprisingly during Arau Open I found my true love with the same guy I met in Novice (cewah! poyo:P) Apart from that, I’ve also been to KLiUC Invitational Debate (KIND) and also World’s Universities Peace Invitational Debate (WUPID) and I must say the best ever debate tournament that I’ve been to is WUPID. It is truly a world class tournament and it would be ashamed NOT to take part in it.

My debaters and I never had problems in going to any of the tournaments. The only problem is getting our proposal approved by our admin. I’ve been arguing with them for not letting us participate in few tournaments, but that is simply another story. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve gone through all kinds of things such as begging, arguing, yelling, scolding etc etc. I’ve begged the admin to approve our proposals, I’ve argued with them for not letting us go, I’ve yelled(wait. Yelling doesn’t sound right. Let me rephrase it) I’ve scolded my juniors for not wanting to cooperate or do work properly. I finally became the President of the Debate Society in my final year. For those who don’t know me, I’m a strict person, not that I want to brag about it but it is the truth. Despite being a strict person, I’m NOT bossy. I work with my juniors and friends but in the end I do all the work myself.

I love this club so much that I want everything to run smoothly. I noticed that the number of juniors wanting to join the Debate Society has been decreasing each year, in fact, each semester. This saddens me as we used to have a lot of juniors who were committed, enthusiastic , and supportive. Same goes with the AJKs of the club. I can clearly see that the number of people who really are committed to the society can be counted by half of one hand. This disappoints me a lot.

Before I end my story, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who had worked with me. I truly am sorry if I’ve scolded or shouted or even screamed sometimes to some of you, you know who you are, especially Abdul Fattah Ahmad. I know I’ve scolded you a number of times, Faiz Hassan you too. You’ve seen me shout and the ugly side of me when I’m angry. I really am sorry for the things that I’ve done to hurt your feelings but please know that I’ve done that for your own good, for the sake of our beloved club. To the juniors, please take care of this club, please organize things well. Do remember that I’m always there for you whenever you need help or guidance. Miss Darina, Shaz, Fattah, Aina, Amirul, Faiz, Firdaus, Dean and the rest of the Debate Society (sorry if I have left out your name, there are too many of you) I will cherish the wonderful moments that we’ve gone through as a family and I hope you will never ever forget me. I LOVE ALL OF YOU!

So, that’s it from me. This is Nisa Dottie. Officially signing out from the much loved Debate Society of UiTM Penang.