Liberate the Debate (LtD) is a not-for-profit organisation established as a national organisation in November 2018, with the express purpose of promoting freedom of speech at universities in the UK.
Having originally started as a society at the University of Sussex under Peter Anson, Edward Seccombe and Matthew Spencer in the early months of 2017, LtD experienced unprecedented growth and popularity, eventually winning the award of 'Best New Society,' in May 2018.
LtD was started because we were concerned about freedom of speech at our university, the lack of a place for inquisitive students to talk about subjects in confidence, and the censorious habits that Students' Unions are known for. Evidently, we were not alone, and went on to bring in interesting and controversial speakers to the University of Sussex, with in some cases, media attention.
Realising that our performance as a free speech society was unique to our contemporaries, we decided to expand nationally and create new societies at other universities. Through this, we have a portfolio of Liberate the Debate societies and representatives nationwide, putting on receptions, weekly sessions, promoting freedom of speech, and by consequence, the academic curiosity to debate anyone.
LtD is now expanding nationally, empowering other universities to create similar societies to promote freedom of speech, and by consequence, the academic curiosity to debate anyone.
We are building a UK wide network of students embracing free speech on campus, join us.
Come and learn with other people via discussion in our weekly sessions which facilitate a friendly, casual social environment for people to express their views.
Discuss theory, recent events or just simply connect with people through your own unique interests.
This dimension of LtD is entrenched in the idea that with enough people from differing views and educational backgrounds engaged in discussion, new perspectives can be gained and new frontiers of knowledge can be breached.
In addition to this, you can also attend our frequent guest speaker and panel events which include academics, MPs, Lords, former military experts and many more.
There are some of you who might want to become further involved in advancing the promotion of open discussion on University campuses, and the reclamation of free expression as a cross-political issue.
A variety opportunities for those who want to get involved with expanding our diverse and open community.
Our team is always happy to work with passionate individuals who see eye-to-eye with our objectives and wish to see the narrative surrounding freedom of speech change.
There is always vital assistance needed with setting up our socials, events and weekly sessions. We also ask that interested individuals help us by sharing our social media, and get the word out that a successful, casual format for free discussion exists on university campuses!
To get involved please contact the branch nearest to you.
It is a popularly mistaken conclusion to come to: that difference drives division and conflict. We have found this to be drastically not the case.
When LtD first started we were naturally worried that our attendee's differences in perspectives would drive a wedge between them socially and thus our objectives of creating a community would be in jeopardy.
However, we have observed that through peoples differences in viewpoint, the attributes that divided them now actually bring them together, and although civil, discursive disagreements may occur, it is the unification of the open community of LtD which ensures that members seldom feel alone or unsupported.
Even if you aren't necessarily passionate about political discussion or debate, the social element of LtD is the secret ingredient that has organically given rise to our positive reputation of being host to a buzzing communal atmosphere on campuses.
With constant pub quizzes, house parties, pub meet-ups and casual weekly sessions, whether you are in your first year of university, a postgraduate student or an individual from the local area, LtD is home to many and it can be home to you too.
Founder & Director
Peter originally started as the President of Liberate the Debate at the University of Sussex in January 2017, finishing his role last November. Since then, Peter established Liberate the Debate as a not for profit organisation, currently serving as Director. As Director, Peter is responsible for recruiting, fundraising, online services, and policy review.
Founder & Director
Edward originally started as the Strategy Officer of Liberate the Debate at the University of Sussex in January 2017, finishing his role last November. Currently, Edward is now a Director of Liberate the Debate, responsible for training new societies, social media, and licensing arrangements.
Founder & Director
Matthew originally started as the Strategy Officer of Liberate the Debate at the University of Sussex in January 2017, finishing his role last November. Currently, Matthew is now a Director of Liberate the Debate, responsible for liaising with existing societies, and organising national events.