Debates Committee About Us

 

About the Hart House Debates Committee

Our Mandate

 

The Hart House Debates Committee provides University of Toronto students opportunities to find and develop their capacity for self-knowledge and self-expression. It does so in two principal ways:

 

First, it organizes events in which important topics of the day are discussed and explored. These can be panel discussions, guest lectures, or more formal debating events. Whatever the format, students participate with invited speakers and panelists, both in the event itself and in the question and discussion periods which are a part of each event. These events not only provide the student population at large with opportunities for public discussion, they also give committee members and volunteers the chance to learn how to organize and promote such public discussions.

 

Past topics include the limits of free speech in a pluralistic, democratic society, sharia law in Ontario, H1N1, Religion and Science, and debates among political candidates at the mayoral, provincial and federal level.

 

Second, the Debates Committee co-operates with the Debating Club in enriching the opportunities for student debating. The Committee organizes several tournaments in House and liaises with the Debating Club over the selection of, and fundraising for, students to represent Hart House in the World Debating Championship.

 

Although these two principal activities are different, they are bound together as ways to enable students to enhance their skills at participating, in the broadest sense, in the wider world of dialogue and expression that sustains our political life and allows for a multiplicity of voices in civil society in general.

 

Past Speakers

Author Christopher Hitchens
Linguistics Professor Noam Chomsky
Former Ontario Premier Bob Rae
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May
Former Prime Minister John Turner

 

How to Get Involved

We always encourage new interest.

If you would like more information or to get involved send an email with your contact information and questions to hhdebatescommittee@gmail.com


Meet the 2012-2013 Executive

 

Chair: Jim Phillips
Vice-Chair: Bruce Kidd
Staff Advisor: Sammy Sadd
Secretary for the Committee: Abby Vaidyanathan
Treasurer: Liz Purrier
Treasurer-in-training: Thomas Slabon
Director of Communications: David Holysh
Communications Assistant: Rida Ali
Outreach Coordinator: Ben Ellis
Graphics Designer: Cameron Jones
First Year Repersentatives: Jelena Djuric, Brent Batur and Aditya Rau

 

Committee Members

Karthy Chin
Sam Greene
Zane Schwartz
Louis Tsilivis