We are the Weill Cornell Debate Society
Our club is devoted to those who want to voice out their opinions, gain the confidence to speak publicly and learn to see arguments from multiple perspectives. As the oldest club in Cornell, we continue to welcome new students to help them grow and gain experience, teach them the art of debate, and encourage them to compete nationally and internationally. With 4 National Champion titles and continuous speaker awards, we are one of the most successful and achieved clubs on campus, a result of a decade's worth of dedicated debaters. Join us in celebrating the power of a voice, your voice.
Get to know our track record of contributing to the WCM-Q community and our lasting impact on campus.
In 2007, the very first student debaters at WCM-Q began operations by organizing student debates on a regular basis, and learning how to debate in a variety of formats. This preparation culminated in WCM-Q becoming Qatar National champions in April 2008, and attending the World Debate Finals in December of that year. In 2009, the club organized formally, and elected its first president and board members, continuing to thrive each subsequent academic year.
The club has proudly maintained this success over the past ten years. Each year has been structured around the same goals and objectives. At the beginning of the academic year, returning members organize weekly or bi-weekly debates while new students receive beginners coaching. Both new and more established debaters then begin competing in the monthly Qatar Universities Debate League (QUDL) tournament sponsored by Qatar Debate (QD), the Qatar Foundation initiative founded to promote debate both at QF and in Qatar. At the time of writing, the WCM-Q Debate Club are the 2017 QUDL champions and holders, for the second year running.
The WCM-Q Debate Club has always been dedicated to bringing debate and discussion to students--indeed, we helped QD organize the first QUDL in 2009 by traveling to both Georgetown and Carnegie Mellon, hosting debates there in order to get their respective societies up and running. Apart from involvement in QUDL, WCM-Q also hosts in-house debates weekly, or bi-weekly, and occasionally public debates that we call “Red Debates.” These are held on topics of shared interest and help promote discussion and debate on important and timely issues. In the past we have held well -attended Red Debates on subjects such as the pros and cons of our switch to the six-year medical program, and, last year, on international responsibilities towards the Syrian refugee crisis. Through the refugee debate we also raised QAR 50,000 as a result of many WCM-Q students sponsoring Debate Club members to mount the most informative debate they could. In such ways, the Debate Club try to give back to the community at large in return for financial support to travel every December to participate in WUDC (World University Debate Championship). To date, the WCM-Q Debate Club has competed at WUDC in Turkey, the Philippines, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Botswana, and Greece. It has also competed in debate competitions in Ithaca and Vermont in the USA, and in Vienna and Budapest in Europe. In return, the Debate Club has a healthy outreach program through which it visits high schools to talk about debate, assists Qatar Debate with its schools’ debate program, stages debates for WCM-Q’s summer and winter Aspiring Doctors program, and participates in many annual branch campus events such as CMU—Q’s WISE week. Debate Club members were also the founders of the WCM-Q ROTA Club that teaches literacy classes to the college’s support staff and organizes an annual Thanksgiving dinner and other social events. All in all, we’ve made a significant difference to the lives of people both within and without the college, all in the spirit of our dedication to debate.
Our Executive Board
Get to know the talented students who dedicate their time and effort to lead the Weill Cornell Debate Society.
Shahryar is the President of Weill Cornell Debate Society. He studied in the American School of Doha and since coming to Cornell has been among the most active members in the Debate Society. He's participated in every QUDL competition, and in his second year he became a finalist in both Qatar Nationals and the NYUAD regional tournament and took part in WUDC 2017 and 2018.
Ibrahim Bhatti is the Secretary of the Weill Cornell Debate Society.
Safah Khan is the Vice-President of the Weill Cornell Debate Society. She graduated from Ideal Indian School, Qatar and has been very involved with the club throughout her time at Cornell, participating in nearly every QUDL and eventually winning a top novice award, despite having no previous experience in BP debate.
Hamza Chaudhry is the Director of Communications of the Weill Cornell Debate Society.