The Queen’s University Literary and Scientific Society returned with puns abound for their Fresher’s debate This House Would Get Naked on Thursday 25th September. Attended by 35 returning and new members, the debate followed on from last year’s topic of This House Would Get Drunk and proved to be a lively start for the society’s 166th session.
The event marked President Naomh Gibson’s inaugural debate for the society and before the night’s main business began the Fresher’s were treated to minutes of the last meeting of the 165th Session, THB Scotland Should be an Independent Country, read by the society’s Secretary Miss Alex Philpot.
The society welcomed six student speakers to the debate with the proposition including Mr Derek Crosby, Ms Tori Watson, and Fresher Ms Kerry McQuillan, and the opposition was composed of returning students Miss Aisha Sobey, Mr Ben Murphy, and the evening’s second new student Mr Robert Murtagh.
The proposition’s arguments ran alongside a common theme of freedom and removing boundaries and oppression. All three speakers agreed that removing clothes from the world would allow people more personal liberty with Mr Crosby’s opening speech, which was perhaps the most pun-filled speech the society has ever seen, arguing that a nude world would be a utopia to remove the harsh realities of the fashion industry, helping to alleviate slavery, and relieving class boundaries to allow for greater social mobility. He did, however, make the concession that shoes and would still be allowed for many, many safety reasons.
The case was continued by Ms McQuillan who noted that removing clothes from the world would save us time, money and effort and that being naked all the time would in fact force us to appreciate how wonderful our bodies are and become happier with ourselves. Ms Watson then closed the case for the proposition as she refuted the opposition’s claim that nudity should just be about sex, and reminded us all that ironing is frankly grim. She pointed to the time that people put into washing, folding, ironing, sorting, and matching their clothes, and without this people would have increased amounts of disposable free time.
The opposition took perhaps a more practical stance throughout the evening in contradiction to the utopian ideals of the proposing team. Ms Sobey took the floor as the opening speaker for the opposition. She opposed Mr Crosby’s assertion that removing clothes would alleviate slavery, noting the many other factors that cause slavery and pointing to the many jobs that would be lost if the fashion industry ceased to exist. Ms Sobey also discussed the hygiene problems that could be a consequence of the house being naked.
Mr Murphy then told the house that he was speaking as the society’s ‘sense of shame’. He questioned why sexuality is still required to stand out as a person and argued that being naked would be bad for feminism, citing several pop stars, and stated that our self-respect needs to be higher than this. Finally, the debate’s second Fresher’s speaker Mr Murtagh asserted that we live in a society of choice and if people want to choose to be naked they should be allowed to do so, but that this choice should not be enforced throughout society. He also noted that clothes are a form of expression and keeping this freedom of expression through clothing would allow for society to progress.
After a lively floor debate that saw questions for both the proposition and opposition, the house then moved to a vote and the motion was carried, with 19 members for aye, 13 for nay, and one abstention, proving that despite the opposition’s brave efforts the House had taken to heart Mr Crosby’s closing remarks: ‘the only thing we have left to lose is our tan lines’.