Debating

About us

What is the beauty of debating? The list is long but for the sake of maintaining your interest, here are the key points. To have your voice and opinions heard, to learn how to defend these views in front of people who might disagree with you, to take a peek at opposing views and to engage with arguments you never thought you would defend, that is the beauty of debating.


Royal Holloway’s Debating Society offers you a chance to experience this beauty and nurtures student’s passion for engaging in discussion with each other. Whether you have experience or not, that doesn’t matter for we all have had to defend our opinions at some point in our lives. Our society offers a range of opportunities to allow you to do this - from our Monday Socratic Debates to our very own Varsity team which specialises in British Parliamentary debating (BP), our society promises you that there is something in it for all debaters - new and experienced, experimenting and seasoned.

Along with our weekly open debates and varsity training sessions, we also plan on holding events with guest speakers, show debates and social events as well as attending varsity competitions available to varsity members. Whether we hold these events in person or online (depending on how the pandemic continues) we want to assure you that this is a society open to all students and we are excited to see you join us in the upcoming academic year to embrace the spirit of debate and enjoy it as much as we all do.

We cannot wait to see what you bring to the society and how you will make it flourish.

Membership

We offer three different kinds of membership: social, standard and varsity

  • Social: if you decide after attending one of our debates that maybe it isn’t for you, yet you want to still join the society for social events, then this is the membership for you! With this membership, you will be invited to all social events we plan on holding. You can also attend Monday Debates, only if they are in person though as if we are online those holding Standard Memberships will be given priority. This membership will be free.
     
  • Standard: with this membership, not only will you be invited to all social events but can also attend Open Debates (online and in-person) and will have priority with online events. Any show debates and guest speaker events you will also be able to either attend for free or with a discount (depending on the demand of the event). Furthermore, this membership will allow you to try out for our Varsity team in the first two semesters. That being said, all Varsity members will need to also hold a Standard membership as well as a Varsity membership. This membership will be £5
     
  • Varsity: Varsity is for those of you interested in not only participating with the Royal Holloway debating society but offers you the chance to meet and compete alongside other varsity teams in the country. Varsity members will also not need to pay at all for guest speakers or show debate events as they will be a part of the organisation for these events. The commitments attached to this membership are a fair bit including weekly training sessions with the two Varsity captains, travelling to competitions and representing the university at said events, and being an active part of show debates and some guest speaker events. This membership will cost £10 (excluding the £5 for the Standard membership)

Events and Activities

In 2021/22 we planning on holding events in person, however, this will be subject to any further SU and government guidance. That being said, we are going to plan events flexibly so that if we do need to move online, we will have a plan. The descriptions of each event will be written as though they will be taking place in person.

The events we plan to offer are as follows.

  • Monday Open Debates: these debates are open to every if in-person - members and non-members - and are a chance for the entire student body to discuss motions set by the committee. It is a perfect chance for people to dip their toes and experience debating in a relaxed environment. It will also be followed by drinks at Crosslands
     
  • Thursday Varsity Training: this is a compulsory event for varsity members. In this time, we will be preparing for upcoming competitions. They will be run by both of our Varsity Captains. If you will not be attending, you will need to contact them about this with an explanation.
     
  • Speaker events: These will be ticketed events depending on which membership you hold. These events will usually take place during Monday Debates where the committee has invited an external speaker to join. These may also be for special events including show debates, so definitely keep an eye out in case we invite a guest who you’d be interested to see speak!
     
  • Show debates: these will be special events either in collaboration with other societies and/or with a guest speaker. They will be a varsity held event but members and other students are encouraged to come and watch!
     
  • Social events: there will be a range of social events open to all members from pub nights to fundraising events to maybe even collaborations with other societies so keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram to see what events we have coming up!

Contact Us

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback you want to send our way, contact us on any of the following!

You can also drop us an email, at debating@royalholloway.su.

We look forward to hearing from you!

No elections are currently running

Join

  • Debating Standard Membership£5.00
  • Debating Social Membership£2.00

Products

  • Varsity Kit Top-Up£20.00
  • Varsity Team Top-Up£15.00
Communication Secretary
Sruti Saraswatula
Deputy Speaker of the House
George Woods
President
Joshua Yewman
Second Varsity Captain
William Reed
Secretary
Thomas Morgan-Whittaker
Social Secretary
Sruti Saraswatula
Speaker of the House
Joshua Yewman
Treasurer
Lucas Berger
Varsity Captain
Ananya Krishna
Wellbeing Secretary
Jenna Ferguson