Welcome to the University of Saskatchewan Debate Society!
REGULAR MEETINGS: Mondays at 4:30 in Arts 108
The University of Saskatchewan was well-represented at Hugill 2016 in Edmonton this past weekend. A big congrats to the team of Aly Sparks and Spencer Warriner who… Read more “U of S represents at Hugill”
The U of S played host to 16 teams from across western Canada this past weekend in the annual Diefenbaker Cup. In the end, the team of… Read more “Diefenbaker Cup 2016 in the books”
Our 2018-2019 meeting schedule is Mondays at 4:30 in Arts 108. New members are always welcome! Meetings generally include a training session and a practice round of debate.
Contact us if you have any questions.
In addition to hosting at least two tournaments each year (the Diefenbaker Cup in the fall and the Flatland Derby in the winter), members regularly travel to compete in tournaments across the country.
Funding is available to all club members to help cover travel and registration costs. You must be a member of USDS before competing in any tournament.
The 2018-2019 tournament schedule is below including tournament date, title, and host. Contact the U of S Debate Exec if you’re interested in participating in a tournament, representing the U of S!
|October 5th-7th||WC Novice Championships- BP||UBCDS|
|October 19th– 21st||Fall Open – BP||UCDS|
|November 3rd– 4th||Diefenbaker Cup- BP||USDS|
|November 10th– 11th||Hugill Cup- BP||UADS|
|November 16th-18th||UBC IV- BP||UBCDS|
|January 12th– 13th||CP Pro Am- CP||UCDS|
|February 9th– 10th||Pacific Cup||UBCDS|
|March 2nd– 3rd||McGoun||UADS|
We’re always looking for new members! To join, simply come out to any one of our regular meetings.
The cost for new members is just $10. Returning members pay $20. This fee must be payed before competing in any tournament.
The U of S Debate Society debates in two different styles. From September to December, we debate in British Parliamentary (BP) style. In the winter term (January to April), we switch to Canadian Parliamentary (CP) style.
BP style mimics a coalition government with a split opposition. There are four teams: 1st proposition (prime minister and deputy prime minister), 1st opposition (leader of the opposition and deputy leader opposition), 2nd proposition (member of government and government whip), and 2nd opposition (member of opposition and opposition whip).
Fifteen minutes before the debate, everyone is given a motion which is not open to interpretation. The proposition supports the motion, while the opposition opposes the motion. A debate runs as follows: PM (7 min), LO (7 min), DPM (7 min), DLO (7 min), MG (7 min), MO (7 min), GW (7 min), OW (7 min).
In this style each closing team must support their respective opening team, but by extending the debate in a new direction (so if 1st proposition focused on the practicalities of legalizing marijuana, 2nd proposition could focus on moral reasons to do so). The whip speeches are rebuttals, providing a biased summary of the debate. Throughout the debate, debaters can rise on points of information (POIs), asking a question or giving a short comment. At the end, the judges rank the teams from 1 to 4 based on how well they argued and fulfilled their role as a team.
CP style is a simple, two-team style. Each team consists of two people, and will be either the government (pro/affirmative side) or the opposition (con/negative side). The two members of the government team are the prime minister and the minister of the crown, while the two members of the opposition team are the leader of the opposition and the member of the opposition.
Fifteen minutes before the debate, the government team prepares a case based on a topic of their choosing (e.g. ‘Marijuana should be legalized’ or ‘Batman is cooler than Superman’). The opposition won’t know anything about the case until the debate begins.
A CP debate runs as follows: PM constructive (6 or 7 min); MO or LO (7 min); MC (7 min); LO (10 minutes, including a three-minute rebuttal) or MO (7 minutes, followed immediately by three-minute rebuttal from LO); PM rebuttal (3 or 4 min).
Public speech takes place at many debate tournaments. Each participant makes a three-minute speech on any topic they wish. Winning speeches are almost always humourous.
The U of S Debate Society is the oldest student group on campus. Formed in January of 1912 by members of the Literary Society and Student Representative Council, the club has been largely active for more than 104 years. Among our founding members was the The Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker – the 13th Prime Minister of Canada.
We have hosted the annual John G. Diefenbaker Invitational Tournament for over 30 years, as well as title tournaments such as the McGoun Western Canadian Championship. We also host two to three high school tournaments each year.
President – Kagen Newman
Kagen Newman is in his third year of debate and final year of Environmental Earth Science. If you’re trying to spot him in a crowd, look for the guy dancing around in a cardigan talking about his love of tag yourself memes and Edna Mode from the Incredibles. Throughout the semester you can expect Kagen to be marching in late, beating you at 10-pin bowling, and incapacitating you with his dynamite dance moves. Swipe right to find out more!
VP Internal – David Hartman
David Hartman is in his second year of debate. He is in Edwards School of Business and takes a lot of photos. Outside of debate, David is very active in the arts and knows how to own the mic at a karaoke night. While David might lack spec knowledge for most political rounds, he’s surprisingly well informed on America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton.
VP External – Aqsa Hussain
Aqsa Hussain, pronounced like -uck in duck and -saw like a saw, is in her second year of university debate and Political Studies. She is your trusty debate mom to help you make it to and from tournaments alive. Her hobbies include photography, sleeping and procrastinating. She loves basically every animal, but especially her new pet hamster named Cruton– if you want to see a picture, just ask.
VP Finance – Andy Luu
Andy is a 3rd year Chemistry Student that is also beginning his 3rd year of debate. His illustrious list of university achievements include dissolving his jeans with hydrochloric acid, dropping a professors mug while asking for a higher mark, and nearly oversleeping for multiple exams. When he’s not busy coercing people into joining debate, he is often staying up late playing video games while blaming classes for a chronic lack of sleep. However, he’s always willing to answer any questions, whether it be about debate or the club’s finances.
VP Training – Rahul Parekh
Rahul is the most experienced debater on the Executive and has spent years debating at the university and high school level. When he’s not busy with debate, Rahul spends his time trying to get into med school (we’re all really cheering for him!). You might not know it based on his coolheaded demeanor, but Rahul’s actually very bad at directions and can’t find a single room in STM. Even though he’s always occupied with studying, he loves helping novices become their best debate-selves!
Elections for all executive positions take place at the AGM in April.
Download our complete 2017-18 USDS Constitution.
The U of S Debate Society is committed to financial transparency. Below you can download our yearly financial statements.
To get in touch, email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – or fill out the form below.
Physical mail can be sent care of the U of S Students’ Union:
U of S Debate Society
#110 – 1 Campus Drive
Saskatoon SK S7N 5A3
Feel free to stop by any of our meetings – we’d be happy to chat!