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Liberate the Debate

"Best New Society of the Year 17/18" - USSU Awards

Want to start engaging with politics at Sussex University?

Liberate the Debate (LtD), offers a unique position amongst societies at Sussex University with a platform that is politically neutral and inherently casual.

It is our belief at LtD that free expression should remain as open as possible, and as a practice of this we have created a politicially neutral platform whereby one can debate over any subject, even those of a marginalised nature, offering a voice to those of minority groups to discuss matters with those holding mainstream viewpoints. The key idea behind this is that through discussion people can be brought together in forging new perspectives on any issues that may organically rise in conversation.

In our weekly sessions we have subject recommendations readily available, but the unique nature of LtD really comes from the manner in which an individual can walk in and talk about a subject of their choosing with their peers, allowing the coversation to naturally flow and, contrary to similar interactions over social media, for people to put a human face to the person in which they are holding a discussion with. 

Many friendships have been forged through Liberate the Debate. We have consistently witnessed personal views change and relationships flourish through our casual model, which of course brings us as much joy to see as it does our membership!

We find that the values described can best be summed up through our three main objectives, which are to:

  • LEARN - aid knowledge transfer across people and groups through social media and weekly in-person sessions.
  • ENGAGE - offer the opportunity for people to engage with our organisation and help nurture the wellbeing of free expression.
  • BELONG - welcome you into a truly diverse community of passionate individuals. 

There are five key points to remember when it comes to attending LtD:

  1. Membership is absolutely free.
  2. We usually convene every Wednesday between 7pm - 9pm at Bramber 255.
  3. Alcohol is allowed every session and it has become quite popular for members to bring some, however if you do not drink there are equally plenty of people who remain alcohol-free throughout the sessions.
  4. If public speaking is not your thing, we welcome those who wish to spectate and watch arguments unfold and maybe interject at their comfortability- there is no pressure to take part. We also run a blog whereby you can express or present an argument (http://liberatethedebate.org.uk/ltd-online-1.html).
  5. 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.

Please see below to meet our committee for 2018-2019 and we will see you in a future session!

In the mean time, why not visit our website? 


Our Committee

President - Peter Anson:

Email: pa252@sussex.ac.uk

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 sessions and committee meetings are carried out in a structured, yet relaxed fashion. Taking an executive position of organisational oversight, Peter liaises on a regular basis with all national elements of LtD as well as coordinating different aspects of their wellbeing with the senior committee.

Strategy Officer - Edward Seccombe: 

Email: eas34@sussex.ac.uk

As Strategy Officer, Edward Seccombe plays a significant hand in the direction of the society and the core decision-making process. A representative for the Politics course; Edward is also involved in the overall democracy of the student body, 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. 

Logistics Officer - Matt Spencer:

Email: mws23@sussex.ac.uk

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 Logistics Officer alongside his role as Welfare and Inclusivity Representative, Matt's role is one relating to setting aside rooms for all of our events and weekly sessions in addition to obtaining the relevant equipment for such events. 

Marketing Officer - Thomas Carey-Wilson:

Email: tc341@sussex.ac.uk

As Marketing 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 hosting the LtD Podcast and managing the online blog, LtD Online. These responsibilities also extend to the designing and distribution of promotional materials to the effect of targeting new audiences and further cultivating a truly diverse platform for all, in this sense maintaining the organisational wellbeing of LtD and its membership.

Secretary - Charlotte Saville


As secretary for LtD, Charlotte deals with many of the admin duties. These include making sure all additionally events are arranged for suitable times for the society and making sure nothing clashes with large university or external events.  She is also involved in direct liaison with the SU and making sure LtD continuers in gaining leaves from the SU run Leaf Scheme.  As secretary she is also a core participant in both closed and open committee meetings. Charlotte is a 2nd year Biomedical Student so enjoys making sure that the society has a vast range of debate topics rather than just political ones.

Treasurer - Isaac Robinson: 

Email: ir80@sussex.ac.uk

As Treasurer, Isaac Robinson is responsible for maintaining the finances of the society as well as creating and enforcing the societies budget ensuring that LDT can run efficiently. As a History student, Isaac Provides a different angle into many of the debates which tend to be concerned with contemporary political issues. Isaac Is also involved in the Universities Radio society (URF) which Isaac has a regular weekly show where he and his co-host Oliver Mizzi (Society Logistics support) debate on numerous topics whilst also promoting LTD and its ideals to a wider audience.

Recruitment Manager - Harry Earney: 

Email: he87@sussex.ac.uk

Harry Earney is in charge of Recruiting at Liberate the Debate. He works in order to maintain and grow the society in terms of participants. This entails communication between himself and the more regular members of the society and a focus on the general outreach of our philosophy across campus. Harry is engaged with the society as a member, and is always to be found at our sessions.


Socials Organisers - Will Smith & Charles Crockford:

Email: wms23@sussex.ac.uk & cc656@sussex (respectively)

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 Charles & Will's role as Socials Organiser is key to the monthly structure of LtD. In holding guest speaker events, quizzes, and other assorted alcoholic and non-alcoholic events, their task is to maintain that the membership is engaged in this ongoing discourse with various events to stimulate consistent interest and involvement in a relaxed, social atmosphere.

Logistics Support Officer - Oliver Mizzi: 

Email: olm21@sussex.ac.uk

As Logistics Support, Oliver Mizzi plays a key role in the organisation of LtD speaking events making them run without disruption. Oliver also co-hosts Sussex Debates with Treasurer Isaac Robinson, the weekly radio show on University Radio Falmer (URF), discussing different topics, and issues with intervals of music. Being a 2nd year International Relations student, Oliver provides important points and positions to help keep the debate diverse and dynamic.




Leaf Awards

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:

CLICK HERE to see our current ranking in the Leaf Award Leader Board.


Below are the Leaves that have been achieved by previous committees:

Inclusivity Leaf

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.


Social Leaf

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.


Development Leaf

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.


Fundraising Leaf

The Fundraising Leaf is awarded to groups who dedicate their time to organising a variety of different fundraisers. Groups who have achieved this leaf will have raised money for their own group or another group at Sussex to help fund themselves to expand and develop, as well as for local, national & international.


Events Leaf

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.



Communications Leaf

The Communications Leaf is awarded to groups who communicate with their members and the student body regularly and in innovate ways.

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Our schedule


We meet weekly every Wednesday at Bramber 253 at 1930 - 2130

SU Election Candidate Question Time: https://www.sussexstudent.com/events/12698/3749/


Friday 9th February: Alexander Hug of Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Hug has looked into civilian lifestyle of civilians within Ukraine during the conflict, and was also the lead investigator to the MH17 flight.

Thursday 15th February: Tim Hames, director general of British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

Tim started his professional career as a Lecturer in Politics at Oxford University where he obtained a doctorate and specialised in American and British Government. He became a journalist at The Times assuming the roles of Assistant Editor, chief leader writer and columnist. He regularly edited the newspaper as a whole between 2006 and 2008 as part of his duties. He has also served as Special Adviser to the Speaker of the House of Commons in 2009-2010. He is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at De Montfort University and a Fellow of the Institute of Travel and Tourism. 

Thursday 1st March: Paddy Walker, who wll speak on the development of autonomous weapons.

Monday 5th March: House of Lords Trip with Lord Howe, deputy leader of the House of Lords, and Lord Younger, front bench Tory.

Thursday 12th April: Lord Robert Hayward OBE.

Hayward originally was the Vice Chairman of the Young Conservatives in 1976 - 77, and a councilor on Coventry City Council from 1976 - 78. He then stood for parliament unsuccessfully in 1974, but became an MP in 1983 for Kingswood until 1992. He was awarded an OBE(Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1991, for his services to friends and families of hostages prior to the Gulf War in 1991, where he ran the Gulf Support Group. He originally ran it from his home but then moved to offices in London. He is the only serving MP to receive a civilian honour for services outside politics. When he left parliament he became a prominent spokesperson on gay and lesbian issues having come out, and was the first chairman of the Kings Cross Steelers who successfully competed as the first Gay Rugby Union team in the world. He is vice president of the club. In addition, he was the CEO of the Beer and Pub Association, where he worked through the no smoking ban and legislation regarding opening hours. Since 2009 he focused on being a political analyst. Today he is viewed as one of the nation's leading political analysts, having predicted in 2015 the Tories would have a majority government, and that the Brexit referendum would involve leaving.

Wednesday 2nd May, 1800 - 2000: Flt. Lt. John Nichol (Rtd.)

During 15 years service in the Royal Air Force John Nichol served as a technician and after being commissioned, as a Tornado Navigator in both the Air Defence and Ground Attack roles. He was shot down on the first low-level, daylight raid of the first Gulf War in January 1991. Captured and tortured, he was paraded on television provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the enduring images of the conflict. He returned to active duty and was involved in policing the exclusion zone as part of the UN force maintaining the fragile peace in Bosnia. He has served around the world from the Nevada Desert to the Middle East and Norway to the Falkland Islands. 

John is the best-selling author of Tornado Down, five novels, and the highly acclaimed & best-selling WWII history books, Tail-End Charlies, The Last Escape, MEDIC! - Saving Lives From Dunkirk To Afghanistan, Arnhem – The Battle For Survival, and The Red Line – The RAF’s Bloodiest Raid On Hitler’s Germany. He is in demand to give motivational lectures and after-dinner speeches and has worked with wide variety of businesses including BT, Shell, Lloyds Bank and The Stockholm School of Economics.

He has written feature and comment for all of the national newspapers, recently returning to the front-line in Afghanistan for an assignment with The Mail On Sunday and The Sun. He has written two major series for the Sunday Express, Heroes and Survivors interviewing newsmakers who have been through life changing experiences. He also devised and presented 2 series of Survivors for TV. He has been a consultant and presenter for GMTV, Newsnight, BBC, Sky & ITV News, The One Show, CNN and Cutting Edge. John has presented a number of documentaries including What The Dambusters Did Next, John Nichol Flies…, and Airshow World.

John is a member of The Royal British Legion’s Gulf War Group helping veterans with Gulf War Syndrome and a patron of the British Ex-service Wheelchair Sports Association. He is also a very poor golfer.


Thursday 10th May 1800 - 2000: Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng of Spelthorne.

Kwasi had studied at Cambridge University, where he had won University Challenge in 1995, and had also gained a PhD in economic history at Cambridge University. He was an analyst in financial services, and had authored the book, Ghosts of Empire, published in 2011.
Kwasi first became an MP for Spelthorne in the 2010 GE and has remained there since. He also supported Brexit, and since the 2017 GE involving the Tory - DUP agreement, Kwasi was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Chancellor of the Exchequer(Philip Hammond).

Student to Student Mentor Scheme

Interested in the society and want to find out further? Contact and meet some of our members who can talk about it to you!



If you are a non-student, you are still welcome to attend our meetings, though specific events such as speakers or socials may be different.

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Our schedule


We meet weekly every Wednesday at Bramber 253 at 1930 - 2130

SU Election Candidate Question Time: https://www.sussexstudent.com/events/12698/3749/

Our news

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Other useful contacts

Activities Officer - Becky Doran

Email: activities@sussexstudent.com
Office: Activities Centre, 1st floor, Falmer House

Societies and Student Media Coordinator - Charlie Temperton

Email: charlie.t@sussexstudent.com
Phone: 01273 678625
Office: Activities Centre, 1st floor, Falmer House

Societies and Student Media Administrator - Liz Alcock

Email: liz.a@sussexstudent.com
Phone: 01273 873415
Office: Activities Centre, 1st floor, Falmer House

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