Debates and Dialogue Committee

Hart House Debates and Dialogue Committee

The Hart House Debates and Dialogue Committee has a rich history and provides University of Toronto students with opportunities to find and develop their capacity for leadership, planning, and self-expression.  It does so in two principal ways:

First, the Committee organizes events in which important topics of the day are discussed and explored. Founded in 1919 to protect and uphold the principles of free speech and debate in Canada, it has hosted leaders in every field, including heads of state, senior Cabinet officials, filmmakers, business leaders, activists, poets, policymakers, and philanthropists. Some of our most notable speakers include John F. Kennedy, Christopher Hitchens, Adrienne Clarkson, Noam Chomsky, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, John Tory, Margaret Atwood, and Atom Egoyan.

More recently, the Committee has moved beyond the traditional economics and foreign policy discussions to continue to engage a diversity of audiences; those interested in the arts, technology, healthcare, social policy, and environment should find a home with us! Whether it be panel discussions, guest lectures, or more formal debating events, students participate with invited speakers and panelists, both in the event itself and in the question and discussion periods following 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.

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

Hart House believes deeply in self-knowledge and self-expression – it is hard to think of a group that better embodies these values than the Debates & Dialogue Committee.

How to get involved:

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!

  • Chair: Aceel Hawa (
  • Treasurer: Andrew Irwin (
  • Senior Advisor: Professor Joy Fitzgibbon
  • Hart House Staff Advisor: Marco Adamovic

Debating Club Website:

2017-2018 Meeting Dates & Times (open to all!)

Meeting 1    Wednesday September 13, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 2    Wednesday September 27, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 3    Wednesday October 11, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 4    Wednesday October 25, 8-9am    South Sitting Room (3017)
Meeting 5    Wednesday November 15, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 6    Wednesday November 29, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 7    Wednesday January 10, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 8    Wednesday January 24, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 9    Wednesday February 7, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 10    Wednesday February 28, 8-9am    Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 11    Wednesday March 14, 8-9am        Bickersteth Room (3030)
Meeting 12    Wednesday March 28, 8-9am        Bickersteth Room (3030)