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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1909

Women Students' Debating Society

Women Students' Debating Society.

On August 14th the Women Students' Debating Society brought its second session to an early close as owing to the stress of examination work, speakers threatened to become a minus quantity. Though the standard of debating is certainly as yet not of the highest, yet we may boast a marked improvement on last year's performances and hope that as speakers gain in confidence and learn to discard the props of manuscripts and many notes, we may yet send a goodly number of full-fledged debaters to the common platform and perhaps, even, representives to the Plunket Medal Competition. At present however, our most pressing need is a more suitable time of meeting. Our average attendance is about twenty, but as long as the hour of meeting is 6.45 on Saturday evenings, so long will it be impossible for many women students to join our ranks. Then too with a time limit of seven minutes for each speaker, it is impossible for leaders of debates to do more than give a string of unelaborated and unconfirmed facts, and thus good debating speeches are of necessity somewhat rare. More-over, for a speech of seven minutes, it seems to most, hardly worth while to spend in search for matter the time required to gain a real mastery of the subject under discussion.

At the beginning of the year the Main Society offered a prize of one guinea to be presented to the best speaker of our Society, on condition that she should have spoken in at least one of the ordinary debates to the main society. The prize this year falls to Miss E. Fell.

The subjects set down in the syllabus of the Main Society have as a rule been adhered to in our Society, but I some cases we fear these subjects have proved too technical for inexperienced debaters.

In conclusion our thanks are due to the Main Society for the Prize so generously offered by them, and also to those separate members of that Society who have form time to time acted as our judges.

Amy E. Currie, Hon. Sec. W.S.D.S.