With Session 4 in full swing, it was time for one of the most highly anticipated events of the week: The ORA Great Debate.
Balliol, University, Queen’s and St Catherine’s Oxford came together in the beautiful and world-famous Sheldonian Theatre to put forward their best debating students to compete for argumentative glory.
With guest chairman Jeremias Prassl, an Associate Professor in Constitutional Law and EU Law at Magdalen College, the Debate began with an introductory discussion about the structure of an ORA Great Debate and the proposition being debated.
The motion was introduced by a student as: ‘This House believes the Gig Economy is the future of work’.
For those of you who may not have heard of this type of economy, it is characterised by jobs that function on short-term or temporary positions, with individuals paid for ‘gigs’ they complete rather than a regular line of work. Examples of Gig Economy jobs include food delivery drivers, who get paid per successful delivery completed.
The Debate was quickly set in motion as arguments were presented, refuted and changed in order to respond to questions from students in the audience and fellow debaters alike. The shifting topics and innovative argumentative techniques were thrilling to watch, with a constant rally being thrown back and forth between the opposing and proposing sides.
At an ORA Great Debate, students spectating are also encouraged to get involved and ask questions or offer their own stances on the proposition. At first, pupil involvement from the audience was low but as soon as some confident individuals chirped up, everyone wanted to join in. It was interesting to see the arguments forming all around the Theatre, as spectators offered their insights into the topics and completely changed the course of the Debate. The confidence and faith in the ideas being presented was inspiring, with many fighting their corner until the bitter end.
After the heat of the Debate had cooled and everyone had listened to the arguments put forward by the students, it was time for Jeremias to round-off the event with a closing statement determining the overall winners. It was a tough decision, Jeremias remarked, due to the high levels of logical and reasoned arguments that flowed throughout the afternoon.
Having commended the impressive debating skills of the pupils, Jeremias announced the Session 4 ORA Great Debate Champions as…:
BALLIOL – The Opposition!
A huge congratulations to our fiery, confident and skilled ORA debaters staying at Balliol, who demonstrated calm and logical reasoning throughout the event and brought Jeremias round to their way of thinking. Everyone should be proud of themselves, though, as the standard of debating was exceptional and the Debate was an astounding success.