Opinions can be formed by all manner of experience: first hand interaction, reading, passed on by parents, teachers, friends. Many opinions just seem to set up shop in the unpredictable flim-flam of our cerebral matter with no real reason. No matter where they came from or well informed they are, it’s of the upmost importance that they be challenged. Think about it: if what you believe cannot be stood up to the scrutiny of a simple question from a curious party, does it even deserve to be classed as an opinion at all?
This above all is the value of what Lit&Deb has been striving to do since 1846. By airing out our thoughts to the wild, without fear (okay, maybe some fear) of hostility or making a fool of ourselves, to be reacted to and answered, our opinions can be strengthened, further informed, and even entirely reversed. It is valuable not just for the speakers themselves but for those observing – with recent events highlighting the need for rational discussions on divisive topics, there is no better way to develop and learn from each other than to hash it out. Not just defending our convictions, but uniting rather than dividing us because of our differences no matter how seemingly inconsolable. It’s difficult but worth it. Sometimes it’s even fun. (Phrased in another way: We’re nerds)
The society has a proud history not just of articulated thought but genuine political engagement, with many of the most well-attended and enlightening events of recent years tackling some of the most contentious issues of recent memory. We continue to attend as many intervarsities and debating competitions as we possibly can, strengthening our argumental and public speaking skills and further strengthening our place in the college debating community both in Ireland and around the world.
We’re the proud host of the Connacht Schools Competition, shaping up our eventual successors to take what we’ve already done and improve on it. We have weekly workshops where we do the same with college students no matter their level of experience. We have a selection of magazines and events that add a literary panache to our notches of accomplishments. With each year, we add more and more alumni and honorary life members who will remember their times with the society fondly – more often than not, their time with us has been the defining experience of their years in university and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Most of all, though many may assume a society such as ours to be intimidating, smug and unfriendly, ask any of us and you can be assured the complete opposite is true. We are inclusive, welcoming to newcomers and the ability to have fun is well within our wheelhouse.
Coming into our 169th year, my hope as auditor is to continue our proud traditions and have another enjoyable year of learning, exploring and providing one of the most rewarding experiences a young student can hope for. On this website you can find information on all our events, future and past, as well as info on our other projects for you to peruse, refuse or be amused. There is also contact information for any enquiries you may have.
No matter where your opinions and thoughts have come from or how they were formed, please share them. The floor is yours.
Nunc Nunc Qui Timet Eloqui
(Now Now, Who Fears to Speak?)
Auditor of the 169th Session