Glasgow University Union is one of the most successful debating institutions in the world, with 5 World University Debating Championships to its name - more than Oxford and Cambridge combined. As the founding member of the World Universities Debating Championships, the Union has hosted this prestigious event three times since its inception. GUU has also taken home the John Smith Memorial Mace a record 16 times. Along with holding show debates throughout the year, we consistently produce world-class speakers through our training and the opportunities we are able to give to our members.
We hold training sessions on a Tuesday at 6pm in the Bridie Library of the Union. These sessions consist of a workshop where we will teach you the fundamentals of how to debate along with advanced techniques and general knowledge. The workshop is followed by a debate where you are encouraged to speak or judge in, however we also welcome you to stay and watch if you do not wish to get involved just yet. After training, we often retire to Billiards for a drink, a game of pool, and some of our award-winning chat.
We send speakers all across the country (and the world) to Inter-Varsity (IV) debating competitions to compete for the Union. In the past we have sent speakers to South Africa, India, the Philippines, Canada, and many more destinations - all at no expense to our speakers. The GUU prides itself on being able to pay for all travel and fees to ensure that the opportunities we offer are available to anyone and everyone who walks through our doors and into our historic debating chamber.
Along with the social life and travelling, it’s safe to say debating is a fantastic addition to your CV, showing your ability to bring quick analytical thinking and public speaking skills that were developed whilst being part of a team.
The GUU is home to a style of debating that is found nowhere else. Parliamentary Debating not only predates IV Debating but offers a very different experience and develops a completely separate set of skills.
For five nights a year the GUU Debating Chamber is home to five political clubs (ranging from communists to fascists to liberals and beyond) engaging in rhetorical battle from 2pm to 2am, with a prestigious dinner in the middle. Arguments flow along with our home-made debates cocktail, Yakka.
At the very least, its an excuse to dress up and have an unforgettable night with friends.