Hi, my name is Kirill Svavolia. I’m the chairman of the Twente Debating Society (TDS) and I will tell you about how the Twente Debating Society 2.0 started. Basically, I just wanted to do debates, but there was no place. So, how do you start a debating society? First, you need a team: chairperson, secretary and treasurer. I approached my friends – Nick and Yevhenii. I knew they could get things done and would go for it. After a few discussions, they were in.
Okay, we have a team. Now we need experience. You can’t start a debating society without knowing anything about debates, right? So, we created an Underground Debate Club, where we invited our friends and started training. During this time we contacted some other societies and past boards for information and experience. Shout out to Rostov, Leiden and Delft. We also found a new board member – Daniil for PR. He was the only one of us that had any experience in debates.
Then, we got something really big. We connected to the Debatbond. They provided us with a two-month beginners debating program, which included weekly workshops and judging. We settled to start in February. Now we needed members. We sent messages throughout the whole university to get attention to debates. Then, we received responses. First 30, then 40 and then 70 people in our WhatsApp chat. We were quite excited as you can imagine. Then, the debates started. We had 30 registrations for the first meeting but only 20 people showed up. Still good. Then another meeting with 20 people, and another and another. Later, about 15 people were left for the debates but quality over quantity, right?
The last two evenings were especially cool. We had the first internal Twente Debating Tournament! With the help of the Debatbond, we had awesome motions and judging. The results were quite fun since many speakers had equal points but it only showed how well everybody was trained. That wasn’t the end. After that tournament, several of our speakers got even more competitive and went after Englishmen to fight with words in the Southampton Pro-Am 2021. Then, our beautiful ladies went to fight in the Tilburg Women’s Open.
Today, we are still holding debates every Tuesday on our Discord server. So if you are wondering where to practise your English, make new friends, and offend them in debates, then leave a message and we will invite you. Hopefully, we will even meet you in person soon.
Thank you to everyone who helped us revive the Twente Debating Society. We look forward to putting Twente on the map and have even more heated debates.
Special thanks to:
Old board members of TDS for guidance:
- Tatevique Minasian
- Yannic Bode
- Stijn van Ewijk
- Sander Staal
The Debatbond and its team for awesome workshops, coaches and judging:
- Mike Weltevrede
- Tom Pouw
- Katharina Jansen
- Roel Becker
- Linsey Keur
- Daan Spackler
- Lotte Claassen
- Harmen de Jong
- Jan-Pjotr Komen
- Jelte Schievels
- Marike Breed
Debating Societies for helping out when we were greener than grass:
- Rostov Debate League
- TU Delft Debating Club
- Leiden Debating Union
And to our awesome members for making it a reality!
2020-2021 Twente Debating Society Board
Kirill Svavolia,Yevhenii Budnyk, Nikita Kononov, and Daniil Malikov.