Icons Award Winner 2021 - Debate Society


A HUGE congratulations to the Debate Society committee, who have been awarded their Icons Award for their efforts through an extremely difficult year.



The UPSU Icons Awards celebrate our Sports Clubs and Societies that have gone above and beyond throughout this year. There are certain criteria each group has to complete to win their award which is then approved by the UPSU Sports and Societies Teams. This year we have seen so many amazing things happen throughout our student community, including the efforts of the Debate Society.



Who are the Debate Society:    


"We pride ourselves at Debate Society for being well known on campus for providing a great opportunity to make new friends and engage in a broad range of discussion whilst considering a wide variety of viewpoints. We welcome students to join us from any course and any stage of study - no matter what your experience, you're welcome at Debate Society.


In previous years we've held our sessions on campus in the Roland Levinsky Building however are operating remotely to ensure the safety of our members during the current pandemic."


- UPSU Debate Society 


Committee Members behind the Society - 

  • Chair Person - Emily Counter
  • Secretary - Sarah Wilson
  • Treasurer - Matthew Burren
  • Safety Officer - Viv Hocking



Debate Societies Successes:


The Debate Society completed all the mandatory Society documentation and worked closely with UPSU staff throughout the year to provide the best and safest experience to their members, including attending ALL Society Forums this year, held a successful AGM to vote in their next committee, complied with all of UPSU's policies and procedures, completed all the mandatory training involved with becoming a committee member and registered all their weekly events online through the UPSU website with excellent financial management, using their funding within budget and providing prizes for their members. 


After completing the mandatory criteria, the Debate Society went on to improve their activities with their members, worked closely with us to Share a Story which shared their success of moving to online covid safe socials for their members to debate from their own homes, which were hosted fortnightly and always well attended!

Read more about this here - www.upsu.com/news/article/upsu/Debate-Society-take-to-Zoom

The team also ran successful social media campaigns this year, including their 'Meet the Committee' campaign run through their own Social Media, where each of the committee members could virtually introduce themselves to their new members, something which was vital having no way to physically meet face to face at the beginning of the year.


Meet your committee 20/21 #3 Emily Counter is soon starting her second year as a Law student with the University of...

Posted by Plymouth University Debating Society on Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Meet your committee 20/21 #1 We cant wait to meet everyone in the upcoming academic year so to speed things up a bit we...

Posted by Plymouth University Debating Society on Sunday, 21 June 2020

Meet your committee 20/21 #4 Matthew Burren will be entering the final year of his Computing degree this September...

Posted by Plymouth University Debating Society on Sunday, 12 July 2020


All this alongside two charity events, a Charity Murder Mystery Event, and a Charity Quiz both raising money for the Malala Fund, a charity founded in 2013 to champion every girl’s right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education around the world. 

We ask that our group committees keep in regular contact with their members so they are up to date with all the information they need to enjoy their time as part of the group. The Debate Society committee produced weekly emails for their member, posting consistently to their Facebook page and even set up a private WhatsApp group for society members to keep connected through the year! Along with hosting their first Meet & Greet in Freshers Week to officially welcome in the new Debate group of 2020/21! 



The society got fully into supporting the UPSU Student Sabbatical Officer Elections, one of the most important events of the year for us here at your Students' Union, with 46.2% of their member voting for their favourite candidates plus successfully sharing information about the elections with their members and encouraging all students to vote! Thank you so much for getting involved and helping make a difference for all students at the University of Plymouth!


And finally, organising a joint event with Friends of MSF to debate around what The House Believes (THB) on the topics of pharmaceutical prices, working with sides, support for fleeing refugees and the pull factor that MSF has in terms.


"On Thursday 4th March the University of Plymouth Debate Society and the Plymouth Friends of MSF (Doctors Without Borders) Society held a collaborative Debate session. The session was free to attend to members of either society.


The motions for Debate, chosen by Friends of MSF, were:

-THB pharmaceutical companies should reduce prices when selling to humanitarian organizations.

-THB that humanitarian organisations work with all sides.

-THB that refugees fleeing war should receive universal basic income and access to education and vocational training.

- THB that MSF act as a pull factor.


MSF provided a quick PowerPoint to provide background to these questions"




Congratulations from all of us here at UPSU!

Debate Society has been awarded their Icons for all the amazing work they have done over this year voluntarily and on top of their own studies, this couldn't be more deserved and we can wait to see what you bring to the Students' Union next year! 





Stay tuned and keep an eye on our social media channels over the coming weeks to read a profile of each student group that has achieved Icons this year.

You’ll be able to find out more about what they did to receive this award and how you can get involved in September. 


Want to find out what Sports and Societies are out there? Click here