Campus Television Network is launching a new debating program here in UCD. Keen to focus on topics affecting students, the first debate will focus on the upcoming USI referendum and will be broadcast next week. More debates, ranging from the price of fees to abortion will follow in the coming semester.

Head of news at CTN, Diarmuid Burke, told the College Tribune they hope to make the debates a regular feature with election debates being held if they are seen to be manageable and successful. Based on the College Tribune’s election debates last year, CTN’s is taking a somewhat a different approach, with the addition of an impartial moderator. These debates will take place between two individuals with each given equal time to argue their side.

When asked why it was decided to hold and broadcast debates, Burke told the College Tribune, “When I felt that the news show wasn’t working I proposed we try these debates. I think that the debates are a longer-lasting idea, a debate on abortion is still relevant after 5 years whereas things on the news may not be.” He also added that it is hoped these debates will attract a larger audience in UCD as many of the topics have an affect on student lives.

According to CTN the response to these debates has been excellent, with people more than willing to argue for a cause they are passionate about. It also offers students a different medium in which to talk about hot topics which are relevant to daily life, as TV debates on wide-ranging issues are not common in UCD.

It is CTN’s hope they these debates will give students an opportunity to become part of topical debates which occur both inside and outside UCD, but also keep students informed on topics that affect their daily lives.

-Rachel Carey