Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate
|Type||Student debating organization|
|Mehdi Bouchentouf |
|Affiliations||World Universities Debating Council|
The Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate (CUSID generally, and SUCDI in French) is the national organization which governs all competitive university debating and public speaking in Canada. It sanctions several official annual tournaments and represents Canadian debating domestically and abroad. Its membership consists of student debating unions, sanctioned by their respective universities, from across Canada. CUSID has been described as "a student-run, parliamentary debate league with close ties to the American Parliamentary Debate Association".
Many prominent Canadians were university debaters, including Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau, Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney, MP John Godfrey, Canadian Supreme Court justices Ian Binnie and Morris Fish, songwriter Leonard Cohen, entrepreneur Moses Znaimer, environmentalist David Suzuki, and journalist Ian Hanomansing. CUSID debaters have gone on to notable careers in law, business, government and academia and the presidency of the organization is a highly sought-after position.
CUSID was officially founded in 1978, although it held its first annual tournament in 1977. The regular tournaments held under its auspices, such as those at the University of Toronto, McGill University, the University of Western Ontario, Queen's University, and the University of Ottawa predate CUSID's formation by many decades.
Founded as a national organization with strong central Canadian region roots, over the years, individual regional differences—particularly the separate identities of "CUSID East" and "CUSID West"—have become more pronounced. One of its primary functions is facilitating communications between its members institutions. Until the late 2000s, those communications have been primarily through their online forum, CUSIDnet, first set up in 1994, as the first online student debating forum in the world. More recently, communications are conducted through social media platforms such as Facebook.
Annual intervarsity tournaments held in Canada include the McGill University Winter Carnival, the Queen's University Chancellor's Cup and Sutherland IV, the Carleton University Lord Dorchester Cup, the University of Toronto Hart House IV, the University of Ottawa Father Guindon Cup, and the Wilfrid Laurier University/University of Waterloo Seagram Cup.
In 2020, for the first time in history, the society was forced to cancel its National Debating Championship due to the risk presented by COVID-19. Other tournaments affected included Carleton's Lord Dorchester Cup, the North American Womxn and Gender Minorities Debating Championship and numerous American tournaments. In July 2020, the National Championship was revived by hosting an online iteration organized by the year's original host institution, the University of Calgary Debate Society.
CUSID is subdivided into three regional bodies, representing each region of Canada:
- CUSID Central, for Ontario and Quebec, which sponsors the Central Canadian Debating Championship (Léger Cup)
- CUSID Atlantic, for the Atlantic Provinces, which sponsors the Atlantic Canadian Debating Championship
- CUSID West, for the Western Provinces, Territories, and the U.S. state of Alaska, which sponsors the Western Canadian Debating Championship (McGoun Cup)
CUSID nationally and internationally sanctions several official championship tournaments, including:
- Canadian Parliamentary National Debating Championship
- British Parliamentary Debating Championship (typically called BP Champs)
- Canadian National French Debating Championship (Compétitions Nationales Françaises SUCDI)
- Central Canadian Debating Championship (the Léger Cup)
- Western Canadian Debating Championship (the McGoun Cup)
- Atlantic Canadian Debating Championship
- North American Debating Championship (with the American Parliamentary Debate Association)
- North American University Debating Championship
- World Universities Debating Championship (with other national debate organizations)
The president of CUSID is the head of the organization and leads an elected executive team of six national and regional officers. He or she also represents CUSID and Canadian debating interests inside and outside of Canada, and is the Canadian representative on the World Universities Debating Council. He or she is elected annually by the member institutions at the National Championships.
There have been six CUSID Presidents who won the National Championships during their term as President: Jason Brent (1992), Gerald Butts (1993), Robert Silver (2000), Vinay Mysore (2010), Louis Tsilivis (2013), and Harar Hall (2019).
Notable Presidents of CUSID
- Matthew Mendelsohn (1986–1988)
- Todd Swift (1988–1989)
- Gerald Butts (1992–1993)
- Shuman Ghosemajumder (1994–1995)
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Many CUSID tournaments are held in the Canadian Parliamentary Style of debate. This style emphasizes argumentation and rhetoric, rather than research and detailed factual knowledge. Each round consists of two teams – the government team and the opposition team – each of which consists of two debaters. Teams alternate between government and opposition at tournaments. The speaking times in CUSID Central and East are:
- Prime Minister (Constructive): 7 minutes
- Member of Opposition: 7 minutes
- Minister of the Crown: 7 minutes
- Leader of Opposition: 10 minutes
- Prime Minister (Rebuttal): 3 minutes
A new modification to the above times was introduced at the 2003 McGill University Winter Carnival Invitational called the Prime Minister's Rebuttal Extension (PMRE). The PMRE allows the government team the option to take a 6-minute PMC and 4-minute PMR and was designed to help compensate for the alleged inherent advantage to the opposition side. In most rounds, the resolution is "squirrelable", meaning that the government team can propose any topic it wants for debate. The Prime Minister Constructive (PMC) lays out the topic for debate and presents arguments in favor of its position. The opposition team must then immediately present opposing arguments. New arguments can be presented in the first four speeches; they are prohibited in the rebuttal speeches. In the early 2010s the "opposition choice" option was introduced. Rather than presenting the motion as it stands, the Prime Minister lays out the topic and the opposite bench has the option of choosing which side of the motion they would prefer.
"Points of Information" are generally permitted and expected in the standard Canadian Parliamentary style. With POIs, debaters may rise and attempt to ask a question of an opposing debater, who can choose whether to accept or refuse the question. It is generally considered good form to accept at least a few questions during a speech.
Tournaments are otherwise held in British Parliamentary, sometimes known as WUDC style. Presently, all tournaments for the first semester of the academic year, September–December, use British Parliamentary as the format. This is for teams to prepare for the World University Debating Championship which occurs over New Year's each year. Since its introduction, British Parliamentary has become the more competitive of the two formats, largely because it is the format used for international competition.
|Year||Host||Winner||Team||Top Debater||Team||Public Speaking Champion||Team|
|2020||Calgary||Deborah Wong & Dhananjay Ashok||Toronto||Jacob Silcoff||McGill||Emily Xie||Western|
|2019||Western||Harar Hall & Isaac Botham||Carleton||Harar Hall||Carleton||Uman Tamann||McGill|
|2018||Queen's||William Onyeaju & Cole Bricker||Osgoode||Kiana Saint-Macary||McGill||Jacob Silcoff||McGill|
|2017||McGill||Betsy Studholme & Ksenia Podvoiskaia||Queen's||Ryan Howson||Western||Cassandra Cervi||Western|
|2016||Alberta||Mitchell Dorbyk & Tavish Logan||Queen's||Mitchell Dorbyk||Queen's||Janel Comeau||Alberta|
|2015||McGill||Sam Greene & Joe McGrade||Toronto||Julia Kirby||Queen's||Carmen Reilly||Toronto|
|2014||Dalhousie||Julia Kirby & Michelle Polster||Queen's||Veenu Goswami||Toronto||Daniel Milton||McGill|
|2013||UBC||Veenu Goswami & Louis Tsilivis||Toronto||Veenu Goswami||Toronto||Travis Gritter||UBC|
|2012||Osgoode||Anisah Hassan & Joshua Stark||Toronto||Deirdre Casey||Toronto||Alex Amar||McGill|
|2011||Western||Steven Penner & George Trotter||Toronto||George Trotter||Toronto||Husein Panju||Queen's|
|2010||Alberta||Sophie McIntyre & Vinay Mysore||McGill||Sean Stefanik||McGill||Christopher McMillan||Calgary|
|2009||USask||Richard Lizius & Paul-Erik Veel||Toronto||Richard Lizius||Toronto||Dan Powell||RMC|
|2008||Dalhousie||Monica Ferris & Jon Laxer||Toronto||Richard Lizius||Toronto||Vinay Mysore||McGill|
|2007||Queen's||Adrienne Lipsey & Richard Lizius||Toronto||Mike Jancik & Jason Rogers||McGill||Leon Grek||McGill|
|2006||Carleton||Ian Freeman & Gaurav Toshniwal||Toronto||Laura Kusisto||Queen's||Jason Rogers||McGill|
|2005||Alberta||Rahool Agarwal & Michael Kotrly||Toronto||James Renihan||Toronto||Ian Freeman||Toronto|
|2004||McGill||Emily Cohen & Omar Fairclough||York||Kevin Massie||Queen's||Marc Laferriere||Ottawa|
|2003||Dalhousie||Greg Allen & Rahim Moloo||UBC||Kevin Massie||UBC||Emma Lowman||McMaster|
|2002||UBC||Rory McKeown & Aaron Rousseau||Toronto||Nicola Matthews||Queen's||Michael Meeuwis||Toronto|
|2001||York||Nicola Matthews & Mike Podgorski||Queen's||Michael Meeuwis||Toronto||John Whelan||Memorial University|
|2000||Memorial||Ranjan Agarwal & Robert Silver||Ottawa||Robert Silver||Ottawa||Andrew Zadel||McGill|
|1999||Western||Sacha Bhatia & Dena Varah||McGill||Nathan MacDonald||Guelph||Duncan Retson||Acadia|
|1998||Alberta||Jacob Glick & Grant Yiu||Toronto||Mike Shore||Toronto||Melanie Marshall||Ryerson|
|1997||Dalhousie||Brent Patterson & Robert Silver||Western||Casey Halladay||Western||Marc Field||Memorial|
|1996||Ottawa||Allen Middlebro & Jordan Tan||Carleton||Ron Guirguis||Guelph||James Clitheroe||Carleton|
|1995||Bishop's||Randy Cass & Frank Cesario||Toronto||Randy Cass||Toronto||John Bielby||Concordia|
|1994||York||Peter Balasubramanian & Gerald Butts||McGill||David Orr||Western||Awi Sinha||Ottawa|
|1993||Guelph||Peter Balasubramanian & Gerald Butts||McGill||John Haffner||Dalhousie||Marc Weber||Waterloo|
|1992||Western||Jason Brent & Tom Meehan||Toronto||Marc Givens||Queen's||Marc Weber||Waterloo|
|1991||Coast Guard||Jason Brent & Tom Meehan||Toronto||Kevin Whitehouse||Ottawa||James Rocchi||Western|
|1990||RMC||Tim Daley & Laura Stewart||Dalhousie||Chris Wayland||McGill||Steven Johnson||McGill|
|1989||Queen's||Judy Hearn & Stephen Pitel||Carleton||Justin MacGregor||Toronto||Justin MacGregor||Toronto|
|1988||Waterloo||Diane Brady & Paul Paton||Toronto||Mark McKeegan||Carleton||Chris Chandler||McGill|
|1987||Memorial||Matt Colledge & Neil Steinman||Queen's||Matthew Mendelsohn||McGill||Mark McKeegan||Carleton|
|1986||UBC||Ian Hanomansing & Cyril Johnston||Dalhousie||Ian Hanomansing||Dalhousie||Ian Hanomansing||Dalhousie|
|1985||Concordia||Doug Cooper & Paul Cooper||Toronto||Ian Hanomansing||Dalhousie||Ian Hanomansing||Dalhousie|
|1984||Dalhousie||John Duffy & Jeff Nankivell||Toronto||?||?||?||?|
|1983||Victoria||Gary Boyd & Michael McCulloch||Ottawa||Ian Hanomansing||Mount Allison||?||?|
|1982||RMC||Dale Darling & Gwynneth Jones||Queen's||Tom Gough||Toronto||Sean May||Ottawa|
|1981||Dalhousie||Charlie Lavergne & Joe Pollender||McGill||Joe Pollender||McGill||?||?|
|1980||Alberta||Gary Boyd & Michael McCulloch||Ottawa||?||?||?||?|
|1979||Queen's||Thomas Gough & Michael McCulloch||Toronto||?||?||?||?|
|1978||Ottawa||Fred McMahon & Oscar Mullerbeck||McGill||?||?||?||?|
National Debating Championship By Institution
|Institution||Championship Wins||Top Speakers||Public Speaking Wins||Years Hosted||Last Championship Win|
- : Cambridge Union Society
- : Oxford Union Society
- : The Durham Union Society
- : London School of Economics, Grimshaw International Relations Club
- :Yale Debate Association
- :Berkeley Forum
- :Studentenforum im Tönissteiner Kreis
- :Olivaint Conference of Belgium
- Meany, John and Shuster, Kate. On That Point!: An Introduction to Parliamentary Debate. International Debate Education Association, 2003. ISBN 978-0-9720541-1-9. Page 318.
- Howe, Brendan. An Introduction to English Language Debate in Asia. Ewha Womans University Press, 2005. ISBN 978-89-7300-631-1. Page 86.
- Shuster, Kate. Art, Argument, and Advocacy: Mastering Parliamentary Debate. International Debate Education Association, 2002. ISBN 978-0-9702130-7-5. Page 334.
- Bartsch, Tim-Christian; Hoppmann, Michael; Rex, Bernd. Was ist Debatte?: ein internationaler Überblick. Göttingen Cuvillier, 2005. ISBN 978-3-86537-477-6. Page 132.
- Freely, Austin and Steinberg, David. Argumentation and Debate. Wadsworth Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-0-495-09590-3. Page 475.
- Rogers, Jack. Transforming debate: the best of the international journal of forensics. International Debate Education Association, 2002. ISBN 978-0-9702130-1-3. Page 141.
- Debaters find bit of arrogance can be benefit https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2194&dat=19771121&id=2dYyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Bu4FAAAAIBAJ&pg=2515,86433
- World Debating Website: Hart House BP Invitational
- Dalhouse hosts national debating championships http://dalnews.dal.ca/2008/03/19/debate.html
- "APDA Web - Home of the American Parliamentary Debate Association | American College Debate Association - About". Archived from the original on 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
- North American Debating Championship Memorandum of Understanding Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-05-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Past Executive | CUSID
- McGill Wins CUSID Nationals http://globaldebateblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/mcgill-wins-cusid-nationals.html