Each Monday evening from 8 pm onwards we organise a workshop in the Usva. This workshop consists of two parts: first we have a training about either debatable subjects or debating techniques, which lasts 30-60 minutes, and then there is a debate so you can put what you have learnt in the workshop into practice. We debate in teams of two persons, and there are usually four teams in a debate. Of course each debate also requires a jury. After the debate and the jury deliberation, we always have a drink in the Chaplin’s, our regular pub. The first five weeks of each academic years the Monday evenings look differently: we have beginners’ workshops so that new member can learn the basics of debating. Apart from the weekly workshop on Monday evening, we sometimes invite external trainers to Groningen to provide an extra workshop.
Apart from this, GDS Kalliope gives workshops to external parties, such as students’ societies or the Honours College. We of course also need trainers for this. We offer the option to become a debating trainer when you have been a member for some time.
GDS Kalliope has multiple committees in which you can become active right away. A committee usually consists of four to six persons who together contribute to the society. We for instance have an activities committee, which organises a fun social activity each month (such as pub quizzes, film nights, or dinners). The publications committee is responsible for our online magazine, the Spraakwater. For more examples of, and information about, our committtees, you can look under ‘committees’ under the header ‘Society’. Most commmittees meet about once every two week. Of course it is anything but required to join a committee once you join the society, but it can form a nice addition to your membership, or to your CV.
Of course, all of our workshops do serve a purpose! Every year, there are multiple national (and, incidentally, international) tournaments in which GDS Kalliope participates. Whether you are a first-year debater our a ‘debating dinosaur’, everyone is welcome at these tournaments. Most tournaments are one day, but some last for two days. (Almost) all tournaments are during the weekend. Even beginning debaters have a chance to win awards: many tournaments have separate finales for novice debaters. GDS Kalliope also organises its own tournament, the Kalliope Debating Tournament (KDT). This is a two-day tournament that is organised every year in May and which draws debaters from all over the country to Groningen. Although the competative aspect of tournaments is of course taken quite seriously by many, debaters usually also like to party. The parties during the KDT are particularly renowned!
Camp and other Activities
In October we always have an introduction camp, during which new members can get to know the society in no time. Traditionally this camp takes place on the isle of Schiermonnikoog, to the north of Groningen, and is a very accessible way to get to know other members, both new and old. Besides the introduction camp, we organise many other activities. During the previous year, for instance, we have had a running dinner, a film night, multiple game nights, a pub quiz, and a christmas dinner. On Monday evening, before the workshop, we have regular dining groups, for which you can sign up at the beginning of the year. A small group of people weekly cooks for each other and afterwards goes to the workshop together. This is a fun way to get to know other members. Additional advantage is that you get cooked for almost every week!