Get Involved

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Queen’s Debating Union, join us at any of our weekly meetings on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 pm in Jeffery Hall Room 110 starting on September 21, 2022. Our first event is on Thursday, September 15 at 7pm – our 179th Opening of the House. This is a show debate with free pizza, held in Sterling Hall A. Anyone and everyone is welcome- you need not have any debating or public speaking experience to join.

The oldest club at Queen’s University and the oldest debating society in the country, the Queen’s Debating Union remains such an incredible community because of the dedicated involvement of its members. Listed below are some fantastic ways to get involved with the club, on the front lines and behind-the-scenes:

Club Executive
The Queen’s Debating Union Executive consists of six voting members (President, Critic, Treasurer, Secretary, two Tournament Directors) elected by the club at large every April, and three non-voting appointed members (In-House Tournament/Socials Director, Outreach Director, Sergeant-at-Arms) chosen by the President and the executive in the following weeks. There are two or three Equity Officers who are considered external to the Executive – though they attend all meetings and events. A non-voting Novice Representative also sits on the Executive. They must be a new member of the club, is elected by the novice membership at large in September. For detailed information about the responsibilities associated with each role on the Executive, click here. We encourage you to run in the future!

Tournament Executives
The QDU is known for hosting prestigious, competitive, well-organized tournaments. In order to keep this tradition alive, we require a dedicated team of individuals behind the scenes to prepare during the weeks leading up to each tournament, and to keep things running smoothly once the weekend is underway. The Queen’s Debating Union is hosting three tournaments this year. Calls for applications for positions on each tournament executive will be announced in meetings and via email and social media prior to each event. Typically, each tournament will require an Assistant Tournament Director, Logistics Director, Tournament Socials Director (working in partnership with the club’s In-House Activities Director), Chief Adjudicator and Deputy Chief Adjudicator. More or fewer positions may be available according to each tournament’s individual needs. Any member of the club is welcome to run for any position.

Tournament Selection Committee
The club’s registered members are responsible for electing the Tournament Selection Committee at our Returning Members’ Meeting in September each year. The TSC meets for a period usually lasting between one and three hours before every external tournament, assessing bids and calculating which members have qualified to attend the tournament in question. The TSC is led by the President, and consists of two members separate from the executive elected in the fall of each year. The most difficult part of the TSC’s job involves assessing each member’s club commitment as a portion of their bid. As this can often be a sensitive judgment to make, it is crucial that each member of the TSC demonstrates a strong commitment to discretion and confidentiality, and is active enough within the club to gain a holistic sense of other members’ involvement. Any returning member may run for TSC.

Volunteer Opportunities
In addition to holding an executive position either with the club, or on a tournament committee, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer for the QDU over the course of the year. We encourage members to participate in hosting our tournaments by judging rounds or sitting on organizational committees. We are also active on campus throughout the year, putting on events and show debates for other clubs and university departments. Information about volunteer opportunities will be shared by email and social media, and announced at regular meetings, as they arise.