Welcome to Sussex!

Welcome back to the Sussex, and a particular welcome to everyone who signed up at Fresher’s fair. The first debate of this term will be “This House Supports Military Intervention in Syria”. Like all debates, this will be between five and six on Tuesday in Arts C133.

For those who are unfamiliar with the format, two student debaters will present five minute arguments for, and against the motion, after which point the debate will be opened up to the floor for questions. We will subsequently be heading for drinks in Falmer bar. Registration is open for the Oxford IV, which is on the 8th and 9th of November. Anyone who wants to compete should get in touch.

Our first social will be fairly low key – Sunday lunch on the 29th at The Swan in Falmer. Our Social Secretary described The Swan as “Sophisticated” and “Different”, but they also have a decent student discount and a good value Sunday Roast. Details to follow on the Facebook Group. Looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday.

Best wishes,

Abraham Baldry
President, USDS


USDS does aural…

University Radio Falmer

Towards the end of last term, four debaters went up to the palatial mansion that is the URF studio to have a live debate on air, on the motion: “This house would ban the showing of Hostel-style slasher films in cinemas.” It was pretty much an excuse for us to talk about porn and people cutting off their own ankles, but we must have done something right because we have been invited to have a regular debating slot every fortnight, starting  next term. If anyone would like to take part in a radio debate, please do get in touch!

For those of you who missed the Hostel debate, you can download a copy of your very own, which you can treasure and listen to every evening for the rest of your life, here.



Apologies for the lack of recent posts. It’s been mega-busy round here!

What with all the mulled wine, the mince pies, and not forgetting… the debates!

If you think you have something interesting to say and want to blog for this site, please  email us at the usual address (we’d love to hear from you).

Quick Poll: Should Debates Allow Swearing?

supreme court

I was interested to read that over in the states, the Supreme Court is currently toiling over the rights of people to say ‘Shit’ and ‘Fuck’ on television. And the hearing is just getting to the good part: the part where all the lawyers will have to use said swears over and over in the august chambers to make their points. It’s going to sound like Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen down there – only uttered by erudite barristers whose education costs are triple your net worth.

Giggles aside, it does raise an important point. Amongst adults, it could be argued that a well-placed profanity or two only brings a degree a flair to proceedings. If it helps your case, why not?

We’re Argumental. Are you?

Wow… I didn’t see this one coming. There’s a new show on Dave, and it’s bringing debating to the masses. That’s right, some of our nation’s favourite standups (the first show features Dara O’Brien and Marcus Brigstocke, both political ranters of the highest order) are having at it, debate style. It may not be  British Parliamentary, but it’s not far off either. I’d call it educational if it wasn’t so darned funny.

Honestly, the stuff John Sargeant has these guys doing is just like a good USDS Debate workshop. Quick debates off the cuff? Check. Constant switchover between prop and opp, until your head is practically spinning? Check. The only thing we’ve not done is a picture round – and in fairness it’s probably the hardest routine on the show to pull off. But is that any excuse, Mark Watson, for confusing a walrus with a mammoth..?

Motions from week 1 were, ‘Politics is a waste of time’, ‘Eating meat is wrong’, ‘Britain should be more like America’ and ‘Simon Cowell is the greatest living Englishman’ (by far the most provocative of them all). Do yourself a favour and tune in to the next show, Mondays at 9:40pm.

Let Battle Commence!

BOI 2007

Dear fellow debaters,

If you’ve enjoyed our first few meetings, there is an event coming a week Saturday and Sunday (1st to 2nd November) which might be for you.

The Battle of Ideas festival is a weekend dedicated to debating, with over 70 public debates bringing together hundreds of the UK’s top journalists and public figures to debate exciting motions. Just like our society debates, everyone is encouraged to put their hands up and express their point of view. It takes place in the (frankly glamorous) Royal College of Art in London, which is easily accessible by tube from Victoria. You can attend one day or both, depending on your whim.

Basically, if you love debating this weekend is the equivalent of Glastonbury or V-festival for music fans. Highlights are likely to be, ‘The Battle for Truth’, a debate exploring whether or not there is absolute truth (or are science and art equally valid?), ‘Immigration: the more the scarier?’, which will debate the need for immigration controls against the right to move freely across borders, ‘The credit crunch demystified’, and ‘What is China Thinking?’.

If this all sounds good, you need to act fast to secure a ticket. As a student you can attend the whole weekend for £25, but I am advised these tickets will soon run out. See the website for ticket options. If we can get enough of us together, you will also save on transport as we can get group-save train tickets from Brighton to Victoria. If you want any advice or have questions, you can call me on 07500807072.

Hopefully see you then,