Category Archive News

ByJoris Graff

Should environmental activists support sabotage and destruction against major polluting companies?

This house believes that environmental activist organizations should start a campaign of sabotage and destruction against major polluting companies

Round 3 – Utrecht Online Open 2021

This motion was set in round three of Utrecht Online Open 2021 and was the most interesting debate I was allowed to judge this tournament. If a motion concerns the climate problem, then I am already interested. As far as I am concerned, the motion is also interesting because it offers the possibility for principled arguments (do environmentalists have a right, or even an obligation, to self-defense, even when it takes on violent forms?) and for the analysis of a large number of stakeholders (environmentalists themselves, large companies, the general public, the government). It is necessary for teams to go into detail about the motives of these different stakeholders and the way in which these motives are influenced by the motion. Below, I will briefly discuss some arguments for the proposition and opposition and the way in which these can be weighed against each other. Since in my debate hardly any attention was paid to principled arguments, I will omit them, which does not mean that these arguments cannot be effective.

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ByJoris Graff

[Utrecht Online Open 2021] The highest echelon of online debate tournaments

Although the Utrecht Debating Society has long been one of the reliable pillars of the Dutch debating world, the association had never organized an international tournament. Until 2018, the English-language UCU Opens, which were organized by the independent University College Utrecht, took place but after this small association collapsed, a gaping void in the middle of the Netherlands emerged on the international debate map. Until January 2021, because the association seized the transition to online debating to organize the first Utrecht Online Open, without being dependent on the excessive rates that Utrecht University demands for accommodation. Thus, on Saturday, January 16, debaters from the American West Coast to India gathered in a shared cyberspace to experience the organizational science of the Dom city.

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ByLinsey Keur

The best books of 2020

Like many debaters, during the last year I turned to books to provide me some escapism and entertainment. Helped by the extra free time at home and the decreased number of mandatory readings for university, I managed to read a wide variety of books. Below, I will review three very different books that I each enjoyed in their own way. Of course, it was very difficult to pick only three books to highlight here, since there are so many great books. So if you ever want to chat about books, feel free to reach out to me! Or if you want more book recommendations, you can follow @linseyreads on Instagram.

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ByRoel Becker

[Nijmegen Open 2020] Getting more and more used to online debating

Source cover image:

On December 19, 2020, the first Nijmegen Online Open took place. It was great to see the lovely Trivium organize another competition, especially because the society has certainly seen its ups and downs over the last years. On top of that, it was a special competition for me personally: Nijmegen is where I grew up, started debating, and the place where I CAd my first (and now probably last) competition.

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ByRoel Becker

Arguments: People should receive their entire pension upon retirement

The following motion was the topic of the second-round debate of the Nijmegen Open 2020.

Infoslide: A lump-sum pension payment is when workers receive their whole pension at the start of their retirement. A staggered pension payment is when they are paid their pension monthly.

Motion: THW allow workers to make a choice between a lump sum pension payment and a staggered pension payment.

Round 2 – Nijmegen Open 2020

This motion review is partly based on the discussions and testing that was performed within the CA team of the Nijmegen Open: Fabian Beitsma, Gigi Gil, Hadar Goldberg, Lucy McManus, Parth Pandya, Marta Vasić & Roel Becker. I thank all co-CA’s for their hard work. Obviously, only I am responsible for any mistakes.

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ByRyoji Yoshisada

Arguments: Should we allow Income Share Agreements?

At the Amsterdam Open 2020, the following motion was discussed:

Infoslide: For the purposes of this debate, income share agreements are contracts where a person can agree to receive money from investors, in exchange for the investors making decisions over their career choices and reaping some of their income.

Motion: This House would allow people to sign income share agreements (ISA).

Amsterdam Open 2020 – Round 3

When we see this motion, there are two conclusions we need to think about.

  1. Is allowing ISAs beneficial or harmful?
  2. Is allowing ISAs legitimate or not?

This motion is a really good example to dig into both of the questions.

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ByMike Weltevrede

Holiday socials in corona times

Source cover image: TIME

The end of the year is near. A time when people (should) get together and celebrate the holidays. Despite the fact that it looks quite different this year, we will of course not let everything that is going on ruin the fun. In this article, we give tips on how to celebrate the holidays within your debating society. We discuss special debate motions, Christmas dinners, and, of course, gifts. In short: plenty of fun things to do within the corona measures!

Do you have any nice ideas for motions or activities? Then leave it in the comments at the bottom of this article!

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ByDaan Spackler and Rob Honig

This is how Lagerhuis+ improves high school debating

Source cover image: DebatUnie

There are many debate formats in the Netherlands. In this new series, debaters tell you why they think a certain debate format is the best. This time: Lagerhuis+, especially for high school debating. Do you want to read more about how Lagerhuis+works? Click here (Dutch).

In the discussions about the best debate format, the largest group of debaters is sometimes forgotten: high school students. In Dutch classes, a “debate” is held at hundreds of schools in the final years as a school exam. You’ve probably experienced it like that yourself. Until recently, teachers of Dutch opted for the classic American parliamentary structure; usually with 2 versus 2 speakers. In recent years, more and more people have switched to the “Lagerhuis+” form of debate (a variant of the “World Schools Format”), also in debating clubs.

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ByFabian Beitsma

Debating Parenting

Bron cover image: Eckerd Connects

I am Fabian, 23, and almost graduated in clinical psychology. I started debating in the fourth grade of high school, and it immediately fascinated me. Debating involves a combination of a competitive element, plus the development of many skills such as analytical and critical thinking, processing speed and abstract thinking. Debating has brought me a lot more besides these intellectual skills: part-time work as a debate trainer for politicians, making many friends and acquaintances and an accepting environment for LGBT+ people and identity formation.

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ByFabian Beitsma

Tiger Parenting: good or bad?

Source cover image: New York Times

In this article, I have discussed different parenting styles. I will apply this knowledge to a motion that often comes up, namely:

This House supports Tiger Parenting.

This is a form of upbringing in which the parents set high standards for their child but also reward them for achieving a result.

The observant reader will have noticed that the simplest argument for the statement is that Tiger Parents are, in a sense, authoritative parents. They set high standards but are also committed and rewarded for good results. This ensures that the child has enough positive reinforcement but also develops positive cognitive schemes such as “I can achieve anything if I work hard”. They see the value of making an effort for something that will only give you long-term reward (such as studying for a degree), which is important for later skills such as financial responsibility.

An argument against the motion is that parents are, or want to be, insufficiently aware when their child cannot meet the high standards. Much milder forms of developmental disorders such as a non-verbal learning disability or Klinefelter syndrome are sometimes not noticed until late or even never. As a result, children are punished for not being able to plan enough or achieve high performance. By repeatedly being negative reinforcement without understanding where the problem comes from, children develop negative schemas like “I always fail.” These schemes are not only limited to learning but also determine how they deal with social relationships and other situations.