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Your opportunity to discuss goings on in the Debating Society, recent debates or any issues you believe are important. Questions or queries can be addressed to the moderator at debates@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Re:

Postby OhhMy on Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:46 pm

Quoting Kizzy from 13:42, 23rd Nov 2006
The interesting thing for me about this whole rant is that IV debating is seen as dull.

Speaking as someone for whom the senior schools comp was their hundredth competitive (IV style) debating competition, I can agree, that there is nothing more mind-numbingly tedious than speeches that begin 'madame chair, ladies and gentlemen, I have three points to make today, but first some rebuttal', especially when the intro is followed by bad points. But this isn't all there is to an IV speech - it simply signifies a mediocre one.
A speech that will bring in marks of anything over 80(ish) at an IV will be persuasive, and deal in facts, which are analysed to their fullest extent, in an interesting and original manner, and even the occasional bit of humour thrown in for added fun.

Pretty much what you're looking for in an LPH speech, as far as I can gather from this thread. And we certainly have perceived 'IV' speakers in the society who are capable of making such speeches.

Perhaps it's not the prominence of IV speakers that causes the problem, but the assumption that all IV style debating is as dull as bad IV debating - something which is simply untrue. Having watched a number of top notch IV speakers - both in LPH and in finals around the UK, I think it would be both unfair and inaccurate to assume it's all as bad as people perceive it is.

Now, back to the schools debating, in which sometimes hearing a formulaic introduction like that makes my heart leap with joy...


I agree with Kizzy.

But also, if you dont like the way the society is run or you want different motions etc why dont you go allong to the Board meeting.

Secondly there were motions forums where people could suggest motions for the society to debate. There will, I believe, be another such forum for second semester. Go input. Make constructive criticism.

IV debating is not for all. I rather enjoy it and it has helped me greatly to grow as a human being. I also like to think (though some one can always tell me I'm wrong) that I am capable of entertaining in the house and makeing people laugh. But then again (and Kizzy will back me up here) I'm not a great IV speaker, but I enjoy it and have gained a lot out of it. It takes all sorts.

If you are worried that people with more of an IV bent are participanting to much (many who are not on the Board go every week) then maybe those who dont participate at all or much in IV debates should participate more in LPH.

Of course on a motion of public importance you could always try and ban IV speakers from speaking at the table. Then you could ensure that those who are kind enough, from the IV side, to jump in and prevent some debates with otherwise exciting outside speakers from being canceled, cant help in future. I mean; how dare they be boring when they have tried their best at the last minute.

Oh and when you picked up on the 'Your LPH' comment. Your posts dont seem to want to make the IV squad very welcome. So perhaps that statment is legitamate. Lets share children. Its everones society and it is ONE society and most of the IV squad chose to participate in LPH because they see its value. Which is GREAT.

As for the drinking thing, I think your being very very silly.
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Re:

Postby exnihilo on Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:17 pm

I'd be delighted to come back and speak - assuming you wanted me to! But, as I said before, alumni need actual dates, not term weeks, and we need to know them a little bit in advance if we're to come over and help out. I'd even be happy to lend what help I can to training public speakers and to pitch in for judging and so forth - my own schedule in Glasgow permitting, of course.
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Re:

Postby Jono on Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:22 pm

Quoting Jessica from 14:39, 23rd Nov 2006
Just to let everyone know, we've been working hard to improve the public speaking program this year. The week on LPH speaking was particularly well attended and good. Also, some of the speakers who attended it have now gone on to make speeches in LPH. I think everyone agrees that debates should be as entertaining and informative as possible, and it's great to see the freshers giving speeches from the table in LPH this year. Just to throw this out there, how many of you current students would like some sort of specific LPH training?

I think we're perfectly willing to provide, (in fact, we have already). But, hey, bring it on, we'll give you more if we can get enough people to run a session.

Also, if you wish to speak in LPH (just to break that Three Main Point monotony we hear so much about) please contact the Convenor @ rew25. We're just putting together the term card.


Will it include hip-flask etiquette?

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Re:

Postby Mr Comedy on Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:49 pm

Quoting exnihilo from 15:17, 23rd Nov 2006
I'd be delighted to come back and speak - assuming you wanted me to! But, as I said before, alumni need actual dates, not term weeks, and we need to know them a little bit in advance if we're to come over and help out. I'd even be happy to lend what help I can to training public speakers and to pitch in for judging and so forth - my own schedule in Glasgow permitting, of course.


In addition I would be happy to return to speak, but I would need 2 weeks notice to travel up from London.

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Re:

Postby OhhMy on Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:52 pm

Quoting Mr Comedy from 15:49, 23rd Nov 2006
Quoting exnihilo from 15:17, 23rd Nov 2006
I'd be delighted to come back and speak - assuming you wanted me to! But, as I said before, alumni need actual dates, not term weeks, and we need to know them a little bit in advance if we're to come over and help out. I'd even be happy to lend what help I can to training public speakers and to pitch in for judging and so forth - my own schedule in Glasgow permitting, of course.


In addition I would be happy to return to speak, but I would need 2 weeks notice to travel up from London.

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And your always very welcome, the problem comes you see when a speaker pulls out a day or sometimes a few hours before a debate as happened with the animal right one. But its always fun to hear you guys speak!

Dickie spoke at the table yestereday evening, he was very very good.
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Re:

Postby Lid on Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:35 pm

Quoting ohhmy from 14:46, 23rd Nov 2006
But also, if you dont like the way the society is run or you want different motions etc why dont you go allong to the Board meeting.


It is of course the right and duty of the constituents to question the judgements of the Board. This is what happens on this board, at the BoT meetings (that I always strive to attend) and at the AGM. I am one of few non-board-members that do attend BoT meetings, however I assume that the Board of Ten does take into account judgement passed on this board, it'd only be fair.

Secondly there were motions forums where people could suggest motions for the society to debate. There will, I believe, be another such forum for second semester. Go input. Make constructive criticism.

Already happened, and this brings me nicely onto a point Jessica made. I'd love to speak in a Nestlé debate, and have already offered my services to the Convenor. It's something I believe strongly in and could speak confidently on. There will, incidentally be no three main points from me!

IV debating is not for all. [...] It takes all sorts.

I agree that IV is not for everyone, but the debating that most members of the Association see is LPH debates, and to keep them coming back, we need excellent speakers. We're fortunate to have a few excellent speakers that are willing to step into the breach, nobody disputes that. I think sometimes with speakers it's just a game of chance whether they turn up or not.

If you are worried that people with more of an IV bent are participanting to much (many who are not on the Board go every week) then maybe those who dont participate at all or much in IV debates should participate more in LPH.

I hope the Convenor accepts my request to speak.

Oh and when you picked up on the 'Your LPH' comment. Your posts dont seem to want to make the IV squad very welcome. So perhaps that statment is legitamate. Lets share children. Its everones society and it is ONE society and most of the IV squad chose to participate in LPH because they see its value. Which is GREAT.

Like Mr Haraldsen said, it's a different style of debating. At IVs, you're trying to get as many facts across, to win for your team, with the most substansive argument. In LPH, playing the crowd is more important, it's about having more fun and being a great orator while still trying to persuade those few swing voters otherwise. And yes, a few of the IV debates are very good at this, I acknowledge.

As for the drinking thing, I think your being very very silly.

Each to their own. As the arguments have been put from each side already, I don't agree that it is sniping. It's surely a democratic freedom to criticise (either positively or negatively) the decisions of the governance of the day. It's obviously caused significant enough waves in this discussion to make it into an announcement after the debate, however.

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Re:

Postby exnihilo on Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:33 pm

Quoting ohhmy from 15:52, 23rd Nov 2006
And your always very welcome, the problem comes you see when a speaker pulls out a day or sometimes a few hours before a debate as happened with the animal right one.


You are most kind, but I wonder if you find the inability to separate the general from the specific to be a problem in your life? I don't recollect bailing on a debate, and I'm fairly sure Mr Vinton always honoured his obligations too.
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Re:

Postby OhhMy on Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:24 pm

You are most kind, but I wonder if you find the inability to separate the general from the specific to be a problem in your life? I don't recollect bailing on a debate, and I'm fairly sure Mr Vinton always honoured his obligations too.[/quote]

You missunderstand me. As you require notice to speak (as you have lives and jobs out side St. Andrews) you can not be called upon to step into the breach when the secretaries of guest speakers ring a day or two, or even a few hours before a debate to say 'sorry but Mr/Miss/Lord X cant come to the debate tonight as he has a meeting in London/cant be assed'

Your commitment and ability to fulfill your obligations was never in question and I am sorry if I even hinted that I might have thought that.

Hope that clears that one up!
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Re:

Postby exnihilo on Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:59 pm

Ah, then my apologies. I thought you were saying that asking us to speak was not on the cards because we needed notice and were likely to cancel at the last minute.

That said, if the Society wants to pay my fares and accommodation, and I have nothing on the following day, I'd have no problem with speaking at a day or two's notice.
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Re:

Postby OhhMy on Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:33 pm

Quoting exnihilo from 20:59, 23rd Nov 2006
Ah, then my apologies. I thought you were saying that asking us to speak was not on the cards because we needed notice and were likely to cancel at the last minute.

That said, if the Society wants to pay my fares and accommodation, and I have nothing on the following day, I'd have no problem with speaking at a day or two's notice.


OOOOO Thats good to know! I shall tell Rachael!
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Re:

Postby David Bean on Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:00 pm

Quoting fairyghirl from 10:26, 23rd Nov 2006
This leads me to believe that the actual issue here is people sniping at the board of 10. Someone took issue to being told he was mistaken by someone he described as still being in High School when said person was on the board of 10. This is where we have a problem, people being adverse to change.


I think there's a certain disconnect here between your evidence and your conclusion. First of all, I was being told that I was mistaken on a point of fact that existed when I was running the UDS and the poster was still in high school: my intention here, which I didn't think was overly opaque, was to convey that of the two of us I was probably in a slightly better position to know what I was talking about on that point. I don't see what that could possibly have to do with the npossibility that I might be averse to change, but if you're still concerned for my wellbeing, never fear: in the past few months I've moved to Manchester and got myself a career job in business, so I don't think I'm doing too badly.

I'm sorry to anyone who takes offence but, as much as I love debating, when I leave St Andrews I'm not going to be checking up on what the current board of 10 are doing, or checking the sinner. Hopefully by that point I will have grown up a bit and moved on.


I agree with Al and I agree with Vinton. If you don't want to take a continuing interest in the wellbeing of the UDS when you leave then that's up to you, but if your view is representative of the present Board of Ten (which I sincerely doubt) then the requests for continuing involvement on the web site would seem to be rather hollow. I've given five years of my life to the UDS in some capacity or other, more, if you count the years I was involved in the Courier competition at school, and right now I'm trying to bring what could be a fairly lucrative sponsorship deal your way. Whilst I would never suggest that this gives me any moral superiority over those who are there now, I should at least hope that it gives me the right to express my opinions without being ridiculed for someone who can't let go, by someone who's already admitted that they care about the UDS a lot less by ruling out their own future involvement post-graduation.

And while we're on the subjects I would like to ask all the ex debaters who hate IV style debating were you ever forced to IV debate? Have you ever considered that people might actually like it?


I'd doubt that anyone disputes that some people like it - the very fact that they are ex-IV debaters themselves would tend to answer that - but it's a simple case of horses for courses. I do agree with Kizzy about the issue being more one of quality than of identity; I remember the fights I had to get through with my Board of Ten to get some of them to accept some IV debaters from the national circuit who turned out to be superb, and I also appreciate the difficulty of knowing how good a person is going to be, or even a whole debate, beforehand. But I think this is a rather flippant response to some of the comments the people you're referring to have made so far.

I will spare you my thoughts because as we have heard no current members of the debate society know anything and we should all go back to the old boys club where debating was for the select few.


Who is it, I wonder, who fills people's heads with this nonsense? I know it's not Rachael, who is a splendid and wise leader of the Society who knows enough to value the contributions of yesteryear when viewed through the lens of the needs of today, and most of the rest of the Board of Ten are at least middling sensible. So where does this weird, revisionist view come from that before some glorious revolution the world was dark, and the peasents had to doff their caps to the capitalists on the streets of London? Thankfully there aren't many people in today's UDS who are determined to believe that two plus two make five, but I can never quite figure out why there is anyone who does.

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Re:

Postby Mr Comedy on Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:37 pm

Quoting David Bean from 18:00, 26th Nov 2006
value the contributions of yesteryear when viewed through the lens of the needs of today


David, you've been in a job too long. You've already started spouting management bollocks.

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Re:

Postby Jono on Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:48 am

Quoting David Bean from 18:00, 26th Nov 2006

I will spare you my thoughts because as we have heard no current members of the debate society know anything and we should all go back to the old boys club where debating was for the select few.


Who is it, I wonder, who fills people's heads with this nonsense? I know it's not Rachael, who is a splendid and wise leader of the Society who knows enough to value the contributions of yesteryear when viewed through the lens of the needs of today, and most of the rest of the Board of Ten are at least middling sensible. So where does this weird, revisionist view come from that before some glorious revolution the world was dark, and the peasents had to doff their caps to the capitalists on the streets of London? Thankfully there aren't many people in today's UDS who are determined to believe that two plus two make five, but I can never quite figure out why there is anyone who does.

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Perhaps because there isn't a single announcement or comment thread started on this board that doesn't recieve a barrage of criticism by five posts in?

Debates being under-attended, Gowns not being worn, drink being banned (and food for that matter), are hardly things that the BoT can ultimately change on their own! Debates might well be under-attended when compared to five or ten years ago, but surely that just reflects the fleeting winds of fancy (oh what a lovely mixed metaphor) rather than any incompetence on the part of the BOT . All Clubs and societies go through ups and downs in attendance from year to year. Debates might profess to hold the membership of the entire association, but in reality it's just as vunerable to student fads. You can advertise it, and you can pimp it all day long, but if the interest doesn't exist in the first place, then there's not much any societies' comittie can do about it!

As for gowns not being worn, the bloody things cost £115, for a length of red bobbly fleece (Or £45 for a length of orange moth-eaten bobbly fleece). Were it not for the fact I had money specifically saved for one, I probably wouldn't have bothered. I know a lot of people who haven't.

And of course the good ol' drink "Debate." Well last time I checked the society was being blasted by the university because people had been in the past getting pissed, making a mess and not bothering to clean up after themselves. Potentially in future the BoT could request a relaxation of the rules. But with a legacy like that still tarnishing the reputation of the society, no number of correctly-worn gowns in LPH are going to make estates budge on the food and drink rule.

In any event, why not just invade the Criterion afterwards if you want a drink? It's right across the street!







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Re:

Postby Jason Dunn on Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:35 pm

Quoting jono from 01:48, 28th Nov 2006

As for gowns not being worn, the bloody things cost £115, for a length of red bobbly fleece (Or £45 for a length of orange moth-eaten bobbly fleece). Were it not for the fact I had money specifically saved for one, I probably wouldn't have bothered. I know a lot of people who haven't.



The gown is only bobbly if one fails to brush it.

Though the board cannot and should not tell people how to spend their money it could and should encourage those with gowns to wear them.

This sentiment is neatly captured by the innocuous "gowns encourage" slogan that was suggested in the past. Mystifyingly, I do not believe it has ever been used.
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Re:

Postby exnihilo on Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:53 pm

The argument usually runs, fallaciously, that "gowns encouraged" carries the implicit, but unstated, corollary that those without a gown are discouraged.
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Re:

Postby Tweedle-Dum on Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:17 pm

I always thought "gowns welcome" was a better slogan.
Also, I don't remember this "Old Boy's Club" that used to exist, either under Bean or Blair. I think it's a confusion between the Three Point speech and the entertaining or showpiece speech, which speakers like John Stewart among others showed often are not mutually exclusive.

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What up all? X

Postby Jason on Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:28 pm

Threads like this remind me why I don't go on this often, still here we go.

1) The joke names are great but I've no idea who most people really are. Could someone with the time and knowledge maybe post a list of who is who, its mainly for me but might make the debates threads more accessible.

2) The drinking stuff. I realise what Dr Joss is saying about existing standing orders etc and the ability of the Convenor to throw someone out but the reality of doing that, the fuss and the possible need to physically remove someone who is drunk?!?!?!? I can see problems i.e. prevention may well be better then cure. As for the Board passing the motion it could be taken in 2 ways, either the Board was taking responsibility by staking their own vote to something they, as a body, are bound too by the university, ie why not it does no harm or it was a political move to help Lee and the Student Association in fighting our corner. Either way its not really a problem. Also its a reflection of reality, if the Board of 10 had said no drinking (meaning alcohol by the way) it may have obligated them to act if they saw someone with a hip flask etc, the wording used allows some digression and when needed plausible deniability. As for reprimanding 'Table Speakers' really...everyone knows that the world is full of double standards and the turning of blind eyes. I'm sure that this would be one of those cases.

3) IV speakers being boring. Yes in a lot of cases we are. The public speaking included a session on public speaking which had a good turn out but not amazing so some efforts have been made. Secondly as IV speakers are normally used last minute if there are students who are complaining, who feel they could do a better job e-mail Rachael now, tonight or whenever you read this. If you give her your phone number she will contact you. Andre was massively entertaining at the CU debate but it took some effort to get his phone number! Its all well and good saying we had great public speakers in the past but if we have them in the present they need to make themselves known. I personally have been dazzled by very few floor speeches so far.

4) Comparisons with past years, this always happens and it is almost always silly. Please realise that the circumstances are not just about the Board of Ten, Rachael could get 6 brilliant speakers to agree to be at every debate, more than any convenor before, they all cancel and she is a failure. 3 cancel on one side of the debate and its rubbish. When people reference Mr Pushmans year, before my time, I have a few questions, how many postgraduates were regulars who had taken their undergrads at St Andrews, what were the societies finances at the end of the year and what were our other expenses?
I may be wrong on this but I believe in the past there were very regular post debates dinners, I have also been told that they were highly sought after and subsidised by the UDS. If this was the case then as a small example our current financial management would not allow this.
Heck even the weather affects attendants of debates, a wet autumn and you have low attendance, it doesn’t mean it was planned or organised badly just that it didn’t work out.
Also there is always an element of rose tinting. Debates packed to the rafters have happened in the past, they have happened this year and will in the future. The reality is that it can never be maintain year long. Debating is not the number one priority of students and nor should it be. Anyone else notice the correlation between essay deadlines and low turn-out.

5) The Evil IV Cabal!!!!
Oh God please. There are some people who prefer IV debating to LPH and some who, wait for it, like it the other way around! A few people even like schools more, masochists! As it happens most of the Board of Ten are IV speakers this year but they are also people who go all the time to LPH and did even before they were on the Board of Ten. They are also the people who go to the schools events and sit through some of the longest more boring debates that you can imagine. Yes, when they speak the predominant style of competitive debating comes through but that doesn’t mean they only care about one part of the society. As for Steveo’s comment (by the way is that you Mr Haroldson?) about the society being overrun, you make it sound like a plot, it just happens that thanks to training and success we have more IV speakers than ever before and they also come to LPH. Unless other students are being turned away to save seats for people who happen to go to IV’s (which is not happening,) I don’t see how that is a criticism just an observation on the success of one part of the society. Leading to that if people have ideas on how to improve LPH let Rachael know. Please do make any suggestions better then “get better speakers.” Unless you are willing to do the research, make the phone calls and write the letters or use you personal connections to help then such ‘ideas’ are pathetic.

Love and kisses all round and lets try and remember that we all want the society to do well in all its undertakings and for as many students who wish too to join in, help out, have fun and enjoy themselves.
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Re:

Postby Lid on Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:29 pm

Legend amongst a few has it that, over time, the slogans have gone

Gowns
Gowns Preferred
Gowns Encouraged
Gowns Welcome

and now to today's unspecified gown stance, the only official stance is the dress code preferred is 'smart casual upwards'.

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Re:

Postby Lid on Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:40 pm

Regarding names, people have the right to anonymity, and I don't think it's the position of anyone to post a list of names, unless that person makes it public knowledge themselves.

Same reason you can't go and ask Oli who someone is and expect him to tell you.

I don't mind you knowing who I am, and I shall tell you in person.

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Thankyou

Postby OhhMy on Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:09 pm

Hi Jason, thanks for your post, it has said everything that I have been trying to but not managed. Couldn't agree more.

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