The Roger Watts Debate

The 10th annual Roger Watts Debate is an evening you won’t want to miss.

The Roger Watts Debate is a partnership of the Department of Economics, Philosophy and Political Science and a community advisory committee. The debate provides a public forum to debate important issues of the day.

Top UBC Okanagan Undergraduate student debaters will argue their case before a panel of community judges who will decide the winners. Prizes of $1,000 for the first-place finishers and $500 for the runners up will be awarded, and a reception will follow.

The event is made possible through our generous donors and community sponsors. Donations are welcome and payable to the Central Okanagan Foundation Roger Watts Debate Fund.

Check back in March for the debate topic announcement and dates of the 2023 Roger Watts Debate.

Interested in participating in the debate?

Students, please contact our team for information on training: ubcodebatesociety@gmail.com

A Roger Watts Debate has been held annually, beginning in 2014. Resolutions and participants during the first six years have been as follows:

2022: Be it resolved that the Emergencies Act is justifiably used to quell civil disobedience

Government:
Braeden Gervais, Heather Sham

Opposition:
Ideja Efendija, Toney Bedell (winners)

Alternates:
Lakshay Karnwal, Mihai Covaser

People’s Choice Award: Toney Bedell


2021: Be it resolved that the government should have the ability to make vaccination mandatory

Government:
Christine Semeniuk, Toney Bedell

Opposition:
Braeden Gervais, Lakshay Karnwal (Winners)

Alternates:
Trinity Schredl, Brendan Stewart

People’s Choice Award:
Christine Semeniuk


2020: Be it resolved that technology is our best answer to climate change

Finalists – Cowinners:
Kathleen Lortie, Braeden Gervais, Toney Bedell, Nicole Michalewicz

Alternates:
Christine Semeniuk, Nathan Romanchych


2019: Be it resolved that Canada needs more pipelines

Government:
Christine Semeniuk, Michaela Sullivan-Paul

Opposition:
Toney Bedell, Nick Huertas (Winners)

Alternates:
Mackenzie Edwards, Davis Tessema


2018: Be it resolved that Western democracies are failing

Government:
Tyrel Lamoureux, Jason Wu

Opposition:
Mackenzie Edwards, Laura Fylyshtan (Winners)

Alternates:
Brett Shaigec, Michaela Sullivan-Paul


2017: Be it resolved that personalities have replaced issues in politics

Government:
Tyrel Lamoureux, Laurence Watt

Opposition:
Michael Flood, Nicole Tomasic (Winners)

Alternates:
Jordan Britnell, Mackenzie Edwards


2016: Be it resolved that Canada has an obligation to take refugees

Government:
Lina Gomez, Daniel Kandie

Opposition:
Sarah Nunis, Kimberly Owuor (Winners)

Alternates:
Alana Firedancer, Richard McCurrach


2015: Be it resolved that government surveillance is justified

Government:
Kevin Ilomin, Ayla Lovell

Opposition:
Sutheeksan (Dixon) Sunthoram, Laurence Watt (Winners)

Alternates:
Alina Malicki Casas, Tyrel Lamoureux


2014: Be it resolved that social media brings us closer

Government:
Maisha Maliha Badhon, Jordan Kostaschuk

Opposition:
Kathryn Helmore, David MacLean (Winners)

Alternate:
Kevin Ilomin


DONATE

The event is made possible through our generous donors and community sponsors. Donations are welcome and payable to the Central Okanagan Foundation Roger Watts Debate Fund.

Donate by selecting “Watts, Roger Memorial Fund” from the drop-down menu.

Donate now