Debate Club Zürich

Do you want to go in-depth into interesting social, moral and political questions and learn how to express your thoughts in an eloquent and convincing fashion?

In Debating we train to construct complex arguments and combine them with smart rhetoric, gesticulation and mimicry. We debate in the formats British Parliamentary Style and Offene Parlamentische Debatte, in all of which you have seven minutes time to represent your side in a speech.


Introduction Event Spring Semester 2024

Our introductory evening will be held on 5th March at 18:15PM in HG D3.2

Weekly Debates

Debate workshops take place at 18:30, practice debates start at 7:00. Debates are taking place in ETH HG D3.1. Our practice sessions consist of a theory part and then a full debate in competition format with detailed feedback. Afterwards we usually go for a drink together.
  • English Debates: On Tuesday, 18:30pm
  • Deutsche Debatten: Mittwochs, 18:30

Topics

Our topics cover everything from current questions about international relations to fundamental ethical debates. These are some topics we've already debated:

  • Should South Korea developed nuclear weapons?
  • Should the keeping of pets be banned?
  • Should James Bond be female?
  • Is it amoral to have children?
  • Does science need to have a use?
List of all debated topics »

Competitions

At Competitions, members of all clubs and countries meet to debate and socialize.

We regularily participate in competitions, both german and international. Competitions are an unique opportunity to improve your debating skills and become a part of the debating community.

Everyone can participate in competitions, independent from previous debating experience. If you're interested, contact us!

Karte Turniere
Tournaments we have attended

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during the weekly training sessions?
We start with an educational workshop at 18:30. We then have a practice debate starting at 19:00, which includes personal feedback and can last until around 21:00. We then wind down over a drink at Bqm.
Where can I find the latest information about club activities?
Join our WhatsApp group, newsletter or contact us via the contact form.
If you've never debated before, you can give us a heads-up and we will give you a quick introduction to the rules to get you started right away!
What do I have to bring to a debate?
No prior knowledge or preparation is required, but make sure to bring pen and paper. Don't worry if you're not familiar with debating formats or the political hot button issues of the day, we'll teach you everything you need to know in our introductory workshops.
Can I come in order to improve my English/German language skills?
Of course! Debaters of all experience levels in both language and debating are welcomed. In the end, debating is about what you say, and not about how many fancy words you know.
Do I have to register for the training sessions?
No signup is required. You are always welcome to stop by, whenever and how often you want!
Why should I start debating?
People come to us for all kinds of reasons. Some common ones are:
  • practice public speaking/presenting in a friendly, low-stakes setting
  • learn to defend your ideas and deal with criticism
  • make friends with students across ETH and UZH
  • join a vibrant international community of debaters
  • cheaply travel Europe and beyond
I'm afraid of public speaking! Can I just come and watch?
Of course! However, we encourage you to try your luck at speaking. We are very supportive of newcomers, and we will make sure to match you with people of similar experience levels.
Is the Debate Club Zürich open to everyone?
Our weekly practice sessions are primarily aimed at students of ETH and UZH. If you are not currently studying at these institutions and are interested in joining our sessions, please reach out to us over our contact form.