End of spring semester update: what have we done this spring?

Hello all once again! It is time to make the last update of Joensuu Debate Society for this semester and look back at all the wonderful things that we experienced this spring. The list is long and it’s been a huge pleasure to see so many longtime goals for the Joensuu Debate Society come to fruition; talks about organising a sauna debate and a show debate at a pub have occurred for as long as we have existed! So let’s look back together at the activities of JDS these last several months. We hope that the update can bring some nostalgia to our active members, an update to our old debaters who have not been able to join the debates, and perhaps excite a new member to come and try debating! We often get the question of what do we debate about; so I am posting the full list of all of the motions debated this spring at the end of this blog post.

Helsinki Open 2016

The two societies in Helsinki have been organising a yearly tournament for quite some time now. It was a huge event with over 100 participants, counting the competitors, judges, and organisers – from all over the world! Joensuu has always participated in the tournament and this year was no exception: Juha Kaltiainen, Tuulia Reponen, and Anton Moisseev competed. Arto Järvelä, the president of the the Tampere society was partnered with Juha and formed a Tampere-Joensuu coalition that was just shy of breaking into the semifinals. Great job lads! You can read more about the tournament here: https://www.facebook.com/Helsinkiopenofficial/?fref=ts

Mahdollisuuksien tori

Also known by its English translation: ‘marketplace of possibilities’, the event is organised for all of the various organisations, societies, clubs, and even some local businesses to create something great for the audience with a common theme of: our world with what we want to emphasise everyone’s opportunities to be part of something and make a difference. Debating fits this theme really well and we organised a small workshop where people had the opportunity to take a first step into debating with some games and light exercises. Unfortunately, we were located inside a building on the second floor and not too many found their way there. Hopefully we can participate again and improve on getting more people to participate next year!

Sauna debate

A longtime crazy idea rattling in our brains, we finally organised the event. The debate did not, however, happen inside the sauna! The motion debated outside the sauna was: This House Would ban picture-based dating sites, such as Tinder. Accompanied with delicious snacks and the wonderful sauna at the student union sauna, Suvas, the event was a success and we hope to organise it once again in 2017 (unfortunately we can get the sauna for free only once a year!)

Spring debate day

This spring we also organised with the co-operation of FINDA (the Finnish debating association) the biggest, most international debate event in the history of Joensuu. We debated the entire Saturday with people from Joensuu, Helsinki, Turku, and Jyväskylä, with a wonderful morning YouTube stream workshop by a talented debater, Alex Harris. The entire workshop can still be seen on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nusv-dIy7k. There are plenty of awesome pictures taken by our photographer, Tuulia Reponen, some of which I have chosen to show below. Thank you to all the c. 20 participants for making the event legendary!

group photo

Group photo of those dedicated debaters who could stay till the end of the long day!

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Pub show debate

As a prelude to the spring debate day, we organised a show debate on the crazy motion of: This House Believes That Trump will be a great president. I’m sure that this motion looks really difficult for the government to win… You would be surprised though… We booked the upstairs of Bar Play and were surprised just how many people came to see it! The upstairs was quite full of people who ended up voting for the government side as the winners (!) The debate was also a great way to have awesome interaction between the Finnish debaters: we had two Joensuu participants, two from Jyväskylä, one from Helsinki, and one (very loud and excited) debater from Turku. Quite possibly the best JDS event of the year!

Show Debate Poster

Our controversial Trump debate poster. Some were ripped off!

Other events

As always, we have continued our weekly debates. This semester’s last debate was on Wednesday the 18th of May. The motion that was chosen was definitely not an easy one: This House Would make development aid contingent on levels of genuine democracy. The motion required some very deep analysis and explanation of mechanics. How can genuine democracy be achieved/measured? How to make sure the money goes to the correct people if no genuine democracy is achieved? How to achieve genuine democracy if no aid is given? The semester’s last winners were Tuulia Reponen and Tomas Pavuk from the opening government, congrats! Here are some photos from the last debate (notice how horrible I am at taking a selfie with laying my fat finger on the lens…)

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This semester we also organised two weekly debates in Finnish for the benefit of all of the people not confident in their English. It was a pleasure to see some new faces who had not dared to try debating before! And finally, there were two (well one is still coming up on the 30th of May at 18:00 in Aurora 202) YouTube workshop streams on specific topics: Immigration and refugees, and gender and sex. These workshops are meant for everyone who want to a) learn more about the topic and b) learn how to discuss/debate that topic on the grander scheme. FINDA is securing expert debaters to hold the workshops and it’s great that we can benefit from these valuable lessons.

That was about it for this spring! It was a huge pleasure to meet all of the new debaters and it makes me sad to see many go back home. Such is the life of an international university; we just hope that we were able to give something valuable to our members and that people might continue debating outside of Joensuu J Have a great summer everyone and our dear staying members, see you during the next semester! Oh and as promised, here is a list of all the motions that we debated this spring semester:

13.1. This house believes that science is a threat to humanity.

20.1. This house would no longer print newspapers.

27.1. This house regrets the media focus on the personal lives of politicians.

3.2. This house would rather live in a world without religion.

10.2. This House would pay all elected politicians the median wage in their country.

17.2. This house supports English as the only language of communication.

24.2. This house would allow anyone to take up residence in any country, provided that they will not be an economic burden on that country.

2.3. This house welcomes the entrance of large numbers of robots into the workforce.

9.3. This house would pay youth to not migrate from rural areas to urban centres.

16.3. This house supports hacktivism.

23.3. This house would remove any politician breaking their campaign promises.

13.4. This house believes that the best way to remove the problems that come from tax evasion is to remove taxation altogether.

20.4. This house believes that social welfare prevents the full potential of people to start a career.

27.4. This house believes that social welfare prevents the full potential of people to start a career.

4.5. This house would establish geographical zones where the selling and consuming of any and all drugs are legal.

11.5. This house believes that reality TV has made humanity worse.

18.5. This house would make development aid contingent on levels of genuine democracy.

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