On the weekend of February 1st, Aberystwyth Debating Union sent 6 members to compete in York IV 2020, 4 to compete as speakers in teams of 2, and two to compete as judges. The competition was comprised of 4 rounds, and a grand final for the four best teams and six best judges.
James Purvis, our Auditor, was the closest of us to reaching the grand final as a judge, managing to convince the head judge that his ranking of the teams was correct in 3 of the 4 rounds.
Whilst our other competitors did not get as close to the final as James, they still had a great time and showed that Aber belongs in the debating ring with the elites of Durham, Edinburgh and Liverpool, with Alex McCreadie and Tom Fraser performing joint best in Aber, averaging 71/100 speaker points. Zach Godley-McAvoy and Joe Geraghty didn’t come too far behind with respectable scores of 69.75 and 69.25 speaker points respectively.
The debates themselves covered a wide range of topics, from typical topics such as climate change and fringe party politics, to more obscure motions regarding the validity of non-representational art and the creation of a Japanese Military. Although the most popular debate by far, was what drink to get in the pub on the post competition social.
The Debating Committee would like to send special thanks to Tom Morrissey of the SU, as without his help and efforts, the competition would not have been possible.
Summary by Joshua Elsey, External Convenor of Aberystwyth Debating Union