Positions Explained

This document is maintained by the Manchester Debating Union, herein denoted as the ‘Union’. It details key duties of Executive positions. It lacks formal Constitutional power beyond provision for its publication. Thus, the Executive may deviate from, or alter, the composition described by this document, provided it coheres with the Constitution. This affords the Union individual and collective flexibility in their composition and remit.

The Core Executive is elected by members of the Union, and is composed of the President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The Core Executive appoints members to and dismisses members from the Cabinet. Together, the Core Executive and the Cabinet comprise the Executive, who manage the affairs of the Union.

No individual may hold multiple Core Executive positions at a time, and only one individual may hold an Executive position at a time. The Core Executive may appoint multiple individuals to a Cabinet position, for example, two Social Secretaries.

Core Executive

  1. President/Chair
  2. Secretary
  3. Treasurer


  1. Inclusions Secretary
  2. Director of Publicity & Communications
  3. Director(s) of Training:
    1. Director of Novice Training;
    2. Director of Advanced Training.
  4. Socials Secretary
  5. Convenor(s):
    1. InterVarsity Convenor;
    2. Schools Convenor.
  6. Competitions Secretary
  7. Public Debates Secretary

Core Executive


The President, otherwise known as the Chair, sets the aims of the Union, delegates responsibilities to the Executive, and presides over meetings. They manage the internal organisation of the Union and ensure the Executive carry out their duties effectively. The President is the presumptive Union representative in affiliated bodies, including, among others, the North and Midlands Debating Association and Federation of English Debating.


The Treasurer controls the Union’s finances and is responsible for its financial health. They produce an annual budget that is voted on by the Executive, and are responsible for making payments on the Union’s behalf. They also marshal fundraising and grant applications.


The Secretary is responsible for setting the agenda and taking notes at meetings, as well as assisting the President in ensuring Executive members complete their tasks. They maintain membership records of the Union. They also work together with the Treasurer to procure sponsorship to fund the Union’s various activities (for example, registering for debate tournaments, subsidising travel costs, et cetera).


Inclusions Secretary

The Inclusions Secretary advises on matters of equity and inclusion. They shall maintain provisions to better the inclusion of under-represented parts of the student community, and serve as a meditative and punitive organ of the Union. They also act as a liaison between the Students’ Union’s Diversity Officer and the Union.

Director of Publicity & Communications

The Director of Publicity & Communications is responsible for all Union promotion, advertising, and communication. They control the Union’s media platforms (for example, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, website, et cetera) and ensure they are regularly updated. Any questions or requests by external organisations or individuals are handled by the Director of Publicity & Communications, who either respond or refer the query to the appropriate Executive member.

Director(s) of Training

The Director(s) of Training aim to improve the standard of argumentation of all members, and are responsible for frequent debate training sessions. They provide support and feedback to members.

Director of Novice Training

The Director of Novice Training is in charge of Tuesday novice training sessions. They plan the training schedule and are responsible for carrying out workshops that are effective and fun for members with a diversity of skill sets.

Director of Advanced Training

The Director of Advanced Training is in charge of Monday advanced training sessions. They plan the training schedule and are responsible for carrying out workshops with the aim of nurturing the potential of more competitive speakers. These sessions build upon the foundational skills taught in the Union’s novice training sessions to further enhance the logical coherence of given arguments and the clarity of their delivery.

Socials Secretary

The Social Secretary manages the Union’s vibrant social life. They organise social events that appeal to new members, as well as current, with the principal aim of encouraging membership growth and retention throughout the year. They aim to make the atmosphere in socials safe and inclusive by working with the Inclusions Secretary.


Convenor(s) shall be responsible for organising Union debate tournaments. They manage the logistics of the tournament, including registration, participation management and allocation, and on-the-day communications.

InterVarsity Convenor

The InterVarsity Convenor, often called the ‘IV Convenor’, is responsible for organising our annual university tournament, the Manchester IV, which is the largest debate InterVarsity tournament in NAMDA. It is attended by universities that come from all over the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

Schools Convenor

The Schools Convenor is responsible for organising our annual Manchester Schools tournament that is attended by school students from all over the United Kingdom.

Competitions Secretary

The Competitions Secretary is responsible for tracking what tournaments are coming up, and informing our members about them. They also register team slots for the Union at these tournaments and are responsible for ensuring all necessary information our speakers are provided to the hosts.

Public Debates Secretary

The Public Debates Secretary is responsible for organising public debates and panels.