We run internal debating grades that cater for novices and experienced debaters. We also take part in regional, national and international tournaments.
The Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society (Debsoc) is New Zealand’s most successful university debating society. The Society was formed in 1899, in anticipation of the opening of the new Victoria College, part of the then University of New Zealand. Students who formed the Debating Society also went on to form the Victoria Students’ Association.
The Society has a long record of participation and success on the international stage. Teams from the Society have made the Grand Final of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships in two of the last three years. At the end of 2008, a team from the Society reached the semi-finals of the World Universities’ Debating Championships. In 2007, a team from Victoria won the Cambridge Union IV and reached the final of the Oxford IV. The Society is currently ranked as the 19th best university in the world at debating.
The Society is a non-profit incorporated society, a registered New Zealand charity and an affiliated club within the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association. It is led by an Executive Committee of eleven members, and governed by a constitution. The Society is heavily involved with debating and public speaking events around Wellington, participating in a number of public debates for various organisations and taking a leading role in organising debating at a secondary school level. The Society also enters teams in the Wellington Speaking Union competitions.
The Society meets every Wednesday evening in the Student Union Building at Victoria’s Kelburn Campus. During trimester these meetings are where we have our internal debating grades, which cater to total beginners as well as our more experienced members. We also hold regular social events, run Pro-Am tournaments where novice speakers can pair up with some of our best debaters to learn a new style or improve their skills, and send teams and judges to major New Zealand and International competitions throughout the year.