Carleton University Debating Society (CUDS) is a competitive debating society with the aim of fostering critical conversations and competitive debating here at Carleton. We pride ourselves in being one of the oldest and most active student organizations here at Carleton with a high membership number consisting of students from all academic and socio-economic backgrounds. We hold regular practises, training seminars, social gatherings and attend debate tournaments to build and foster an enthusiastic and vibrant community. CUDS holds a prestigious image in the debating community by  becoming finalists and as well as winning debating tournaments in the local Canadian university debating circuit and on the international stage such as the Trinity College IV in Dublin and the University of Southern California IV in Los Angeles.

As per tradition, CUDS also competes in the World University Debating Championship (WUDC) every year and we are looking to send teams to WUDC 2024 in Vietnam this year. In order to preserve our allow our members to compete at the highest levels of university debating, we are asking for your support to help CUDS send teams to prestigious international tournaments such as the Yale IV and WUDC 2024. Your help will allow us to cover the transportation, accommodation and registration costs for our debaters thus making it possible for them to attend despite their socio-economic conditions hence making debating at CUDS accessible.

Competitive debating is a very valuable activity that has numerous benefits such as improving critical thinking and engaging in conversations about important political, ethical and philosophical topics as well as networking and fostering confidence and self esteem. Many of our alumni have gone on to use these skills and paved paths to successful careers. We hope you consider the value of competitive debating and CUDS as an organization to make debate accessible for everyone, and we hope you decide to become a part of it! 

The Background

CUDS runs on a principle of making debate accessible to anyone and everyone and aims to promote a healthy and welcoming environment for Carleton students to engage in critical conversations about important topics of economics, politics, philosophy and social justice. In addition to this, we allow our members to attend local and international debate tournaments such as the biggest debating tournament in Canada that is Hart House IV in Toronto and a range of other local and international tournaments. We compete at tournaments because it allows for our members to engage in broader conversations, learn from new perspectives and network with like minded students from other parts of the world. However, day to day operations and attending tournaments need funds to be orchestrated.

CUDS subsidizes transportation, accommodation and registration fees of its member’s trips to tournaments to allow every individual to compete against the top speakers and engage in beneficial conversations and benefit from the real world application it brings. Therefore, to continue going to tournaments and being able to subsidize our members and make debate accessible, we ask for your support in promoting and fostering a debating community at Carleton and being able to give equal opportunities to every member. Without the extra funds, we would be unable to. We believe that our current membership consists of a young, enthusiastic and energetic team who we believe have the talent to compete at the highest levels of competitive debate thus making CUDS and Carleton proud.

The Rollout

Through this fundraiser, CUDS will primarily fund its international tournaments including the WUDC 2024. CUDS is able to send teams in big contingents to local tournaments due to proximity and the low transportation/accommodation fees associated with it. However, the financial burden only gets heavier when CUDS aims to send teams internationally. International tournaments are crucial for CUDS and it’s reputation as well as the countless benefits to debaters  such as debating international topics, learning new styles and techniques of competitive debating, building international connections and building institutional knowledge by debating against top debaters in the world and passing on that knowledge in training seminars to novice debaters.

The funds from this fundraising will cover costs of WUDC 2024 transportation costs such as return plane tickets to Hanoi, Vietnam ($4,000 per team) and complete funding for one international tournament CUDS attends in the winter semester ($4000). Complete breakdown of the international tournament is available upon request and we encourage donors to reach out and plan with us to provide a transparent experience. As a reference, CUDS attended Trinity IV 2023 in Dublin, Ireland on a budget of $4000 with roughly $3500 for transportation costs (plane & train tickets), $350 for registration and $150 for accommodation. We aim to attend a similar tournament with some potential ones being Oxford IV, Cambridge IV, Edinburgh IV or Yale IV. The decision on which tournament to attend will be determined before the start of winter semesters as the details for registration come out. In summary, the funds from this fundraiser will reduce the financial burden of WUDC 2024 and other international tournaments on CUDS and will ensure that we are present and an active part of the international debating community.

The Impact

Competitive debating is surely a productive and valuable activity, however it is something that caters to those who come from privileged backgrounds. Success in debating is contingent on talent as well as access to training and seminars as well as high level tournaments. And as evident by the fact that these activities require access to great amounts of capital, this becomes the main reason why many students and younger debaters are unable to engage in the activity and reap the benefits it has to offer. The support and donations from the future funder will allow CUDS to continue subsidizing debating to a greater number of our members.

CUDS strongly believes in equal opportunity and we advocate for all of our members so that each and everyone of us has the necessary tools to succeed and develop their debating talents. However, due to financial circumstances, only about half of our members may have the chance to attend high level tournaments and learn from top debaters. The funds from this fundraiser will allow us to ensure that more of our members are able to go to international tournaments and that we foster every member’s talents to allow them to grow into successful debaters and individuals that will make positive changes in our communities through the benefits competitive debating has to offer. We believe that debating at the top level develops many interpersonal skills and makes us informed global citizens so that we spot the problems and injustices in our communities and take the initiative to act against problems and make our communities a better place to live.

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