What is debating?

A debate is a chance for people to speak passionately on either side of a specified topic – known as the “motion”. The motion is a carefully worded statement and one speaker will prepare a case in support (the “proposer”) whilst another will take a stance against it (the “opposer”). A Chairman runs the meeting and makes sure everyone gets a fair chance to speak.

Both speakers get 15 minutes to set out their argument, starting with the Proposer. After the main speeches the debate is opened to all those in the audience (the “floor”). Members and visitors alike are welcome to speak for up to three minutes on either side of the motion.

When everyone who wants to has had their say, the main speakers will sum up their side of the motion for about 5 minutes each. By tradition the Opposer goes first and the Proposer has the last word before a vote is taken.

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” --Joseph Joubert

Debating is not a public speaking competition and the audience is expected to cast their vote based on their views not on the quality of the speeches or the arguments outlined. Although of course the better the speaker the more likely they are to sway people's views to vote for them!

What’s really important is that Debater’s always respect one another's views, even when they may disagree with them! No matter how much we take opposing sides during the debate everyone walks out the best of friends afterwards!

What makes a good Debate?

A debating motion is always phrased as a simple statement, never as a question. Some Societies start all their motions with “This House Believes” and although we don’t write that explicitly it should be implied. An ideal motion should be clear enough for everyone to understand but have enough depth and interpretation to keep the discussion interesting for the whole evening. It needs to be something that people are likely to have differing views upon – if everyone agreed from the start it wouldn’t be a very good evening! And finally it should be as unambiguously worded as possible – we would prefer to debate the actual subject than different interpretations of what the wording of the motion means!

“I love argument, I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that's not their job.”-- Margaret Thatcher

What do we do?

We debate, we work and we have fun along the way too! Whenever we encounter a debatable problem we debate on the motion. By debating thus, we will arrive at the best possible solution and we will implement it if it is plausible. We also work continuously towards improving or language, boosting our self confidence and doing something beyond just the academics of the college life. It is all about portraying and seeing ourselves in a better light. One of our aims is to improve the communication in English language which will help for your placements and the development of a holistic individual.

You know what 'DOUBT' stands for? It stands for 'Debate On Understanding Bewildersome Thoughts.'--Gary Busey 

What topics do we cover?

We debate anything and everything! Each of our programmes includes a wide range of subjects, with as much balance as possible to provide something for everyone. Of course some motions cover topical issues and current affairs but we also debate moral and religious issues, philosophical topics.

“Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy.”--Jesse Jackson