Liberate the Debate (LtD), offers a unique position amongst societies at Sussex University with an inherent nature of flexibility along political discourse.
It is our belief at LtD that freedom of speech should remain as unabated as possible, and as a practice of this we have created a politicially neutral platform whereby one can debate over any subject, and in particular those of a controversial nature (which in itself is a practice of freedom of discourse so to speak). The key thesis behind this is that by airing topics that are conventionally taboo, arguments from both sides of the coin can be discussed and debated to create a common understanding. Indeed in the current political climate as political perspectives become further and further dissimilar, much of a moderated, calm, intellectually vigorating exercise of debate can create a form of common understanding.
There are four parts that we will be running next academic year:
Firstly, we usually convene every Wednesday between 1930-2130, and will post specific details on our Facebook page.
Most importantly, bring a drink or two to slug your way through it.
Secondly, with prior request to the evening, you have the opportunity as a member to conduct a short presentation on a subject (which of course will be debated thereafter), if you believe that it is knowledge that is intriguing and beneficial to most people's knowledge.
Thirdly, if public speaking is not your thing, we also run a blog whereby you can express or present an argument.
Finally, we will be working to drawing in speakers over the next academic year from a variety of backgrounds and histories for academic interest and intellectual stimulation.
All in all, membership is free, and you get to drink alcohol while sounding vaguely intelligent so there isn't much to lose here.
Peter Anson - President
In his capacity as the President of LtD, Peter Anson's responsibilities lay with the absolutely core task of mobilising and moderating the committee in their movements and ensuring that society meetings are carried out in a structured, yet relaxed fashion. Peter is a Student Union Representative and thus contributes a good deal to the democracy of the core Union decision-making itself. An enthusiast in military aviation; Peter also contributes a great deal to the internal discussions held within the meetings with passion and vigor.
Edward Seccombe - Vice President/Treasurer:
As Vice President and Treasurer of LtD, Edward Seccombe acts both as a liaison with the Student Union when it comes to the financial aspect of the society, and plays a significant hand in the direction of the society and the core decision-making process. A Student Union representative for the Politics course; Edward is also involved in the overall democracy of the SU, getting to grips with the issues that affect Politics students in and around campus, all in addition to running Second Source Media, an independent blog online which is a platform for any and all to write opinion pieces, and in turn criticise others work (effectively, embodying the spirit of LtD online).
Matt Spencer - Vice President/Welfare & Inclusivity Representative
Matt Spencer works within the committee as the Welfare and Inclusivity Representative for Ltd, ensuring that a diverse range of individuals are included in the debate every week, in this way ensuring that our mission statement of offering "a politicially neutral platform" is abided by without discrimination along racial, religious, gender or political lines. As Vice President alongside his role as Welfare and Inclusivity Representative, every week Matt is fiercely engaged in the debates being had and contributes topics of discussion handsomely.
Edward Wilson - Events Organiser
Central to the philosophy of LtD is the idea that individuals should be exposed a range of political opinions, and in turn be given an opportunity to criticise. This is why Edward Wilson's role as Events Organiser is key to the monthly structure of LtD. In holding guest speaker events, quizzes, and other assorted alcoholic and non-alcoholic events, Edward's task is to maintain that the membership is engaged in this ongoing discourse with various events to stimulate consistent interest and involvement. An avid contributor to URF radio; Edward also takes joy in the social aspect of the society, which also helps to maintain the aforementioned friendly atmosphere afforded to all.
Thomas Carey-Wilson - Social Media Officer
As Social Media Officer, Thomas has the job of engaging individuals from both within the campus and outside of its boundaries online. Maintaining the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages with consistent update and user-friendly engagement, Thomas acts as the online face of LtD, postulating questions of debate on both the Twitter and [often] the Facebook page, whilst posting more light-hearted material regularly on the Instagram page. Thomas is also a participant of URF radio and engages with the membership and their views with fervour every society meeting.
Daniel Finn - Society Support Officer
Daniel Finn is the Society Support Officer and contributes to LtD in aiding with tasks central to each society meeting such as moderating the tables efficiently, getting to grips with each member and helping to set up the room in an orderly fashion. Daniel is also Vice President of the Darts Society and therefore is adept at assisting in tasks of an organisational nature, demonstrating resourcefulness and punctuality in this capacity.
What is the Leaf Scheme?
Leaf awards reflect contributions of the society or sports club towards its members, the University of Sussex Students’ Union, the University of Sussex, the local community and the public. Leaves can be attained at bronze, silver or gold levels by meeting three, six or nine criteria. Leaves apply for an academic year as a symbol of what the present committee have achieved.
Groups can work towards nine leaves:
Below are the Leaves we have achieved so far this year:
The Inclusivity Leaf is awarded to groups who have taken positive steps to increase the diversity of their membership and include as many members as possible. They have made specific efforts to include students that don’t traditionally engage, without ignoring or neglecting their current membership or other student groups.
Student Voice Leaf
The Student Voice leaf is awarded to groups who engage their members in Sussex Students’ Union campaigns, democracy and elections and influence the way the Students’ Union is run.
The Social leaf is awarded to groups who have taken active steps to include as many members as possible and regularly engage in various social activities, including those organised by - and with - other societies/sports clubs.
The Development leaf is awarded to groups who have taken active steps to develop themselves, offer development opportunities to their members, build on the successes and failures of previous years and/or worked to maintain the high standards of previous years.
The Events leaf is awarded to groups who have demonstrated an exceptional ability to organise and hold events on a regular basis. Such groups have also made the effort to hold joint events with other societies/sports clubs and/or the Students’ Union and the University. They have also gotten involved in cultural and community events.
The Communications Leaf is awarded to groups who communicate with their members and the student body regularly and in innovate ways.