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Empowering University Debate Clubs - Eesti Väitlusselts

Empowering University Debate Clubs

Kategooria: Ülikooliväitlus

A strong university debating circuit is fundamental in order to ensure the spread of debate education. Not only do student organisations provide an outlet for those who found their way to debating in high school, but also help form new debate educators who can support others on their journey towards becoming more rational and critical thinkers.

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University debate clubs are faced with their own unique set of problems. The high rate of turnover can often complicate setting goals for long-term strategy, which can cause instability and a lack of know-how in the organisation. To combat these issues, the Estonian Debating Society, the Danish Debate Association and the Latvian Debate Association decided to carry out a project dealing specifically with finding solutions to issues pertaining to university debating.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Manual for running a debate club

By far the largest issue apparent in university debating clubs is the low retention of previous knowledge. This places a high burden on the people who are new to leadership positions in their respective debating society, which can in turn cause instability in the organisation and burn-out among board members. Thus, the first output of the project is a manual aimed at the leaders of university debate clubs, which seeks to provide answers to frequently asked questions and give insight on practices which have proven to be useful for the project partners. The manual’s 19 chapters cover a vast array of topics, for example member recruitment, finances, strategy and organising tournaments and social events. Take a look and find information about the questions most important to you!

Empowering University Debate Clubs Manual

Debating workshops

A crucial part of a university debate club’s activities is centred on developing the skills of its members. Oftentimes, however, debate club leaders struggle to find time in their own busy schedules to plan lectures or lack know-how in specific areas which could be useful for debaters attending club meetings. For the second output, project partners created a series of online workshops meant for use by debate club leaders, in order to provide training opportunities even in instances, where organisational knowledge on some topics might be rather low. You can access the workshops here.

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