About Us

Words are Powerful

The Saskatchewan Elocution and Debate Association (SEDA) is a registered charity and volunteer-driven organization that was founded in 1974 that is dedicated to community development. Our primary goal is to promote debate and speech throughout Saskatchewan by hosting competitive tournaments, helping start speech and debate clubs, running workshops, and teaching speech and debate skills to students in grades 5-12.

History of SEDA

Meet the board of directors

SEDA's registered charitable organization number is 11914 0077 RR0001. 

SEDA is a community-focused organization that cares about the growth of every individual.  Our volunteers and coaches are teachers, parents, alumni and community members who are dedicated to sharing their passion for debate and their love of learning.

Words are powerful.  Our motto is a reminder to us all that words amplify our intent.   As we learn to use words effectively, we also routinely and intentionally challenge each other to consider how we are using this skill with words to make a better society for others.

SEDA Values

Accessibility

From its beginnings, and in the Saskatchewan spirit, SEDA valued accessibility and made the explicit decision to focus on regional access to programing, low cost programing, and other measures to ensure debate remains accessible and a genuine opportunity for all.

Diversity

The act of debating is an act that values diversity as a basic assumption.  To be prepared for any debate topic, you must prepare both sides and ready to debate either one regardless of your personal biases.  That means understanding multiple viewpoints and seeing the value of diversity perspectives in making everyone’s thinking stronger.

 For SEDA, diversity is about valuing the richness and strength that difference has to offer.  As an organization dedicated to understanding and discussing diverse worldviews, diversity of intellectual idea has always been a cornerstone of our work. We recognize diversity in our participants as having many facets including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.  We envision a SEDA where genuine equity in access to speech and debate activities and authentic opportunities to participate in the decision making in our organization are the norms for all communities, including ones that are often marginalized. SEDA is Us.

Citizenship and Democratic Values

Our desire in SEDA is that through their involvement with speech and debate, our students will find their voice, use it meaningfully and be engaged citizens.

Leadership

Words are powerful. We seek to encourage students to take leadership and make a difference. We recognize that truly the art of communication is the language of leadership.

Excellence

SEDA values the mindset of growth and lifelong learning within our community.  We recognize that speech and debate are hard skills to master but we foster that teachable spirit and willingness to do the hard things.

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise,
rising more than others think is safe,
dreaming more than others think is practical,
and expecting more than others think is possible.

Author Unknown

Our Guiding Principles

The Saskatchewan Elocution and Debate Association is guided by several key principles that leads the organization to its main objective of promoting speech and debate within Saskatchewan.

Lifelong learning

SEDA seeks to spread debate as a practice within schools and communities because it encourages lifelong learning. Debate teaches critical thinking skills, and fosters an interest in learning about the world. We commit to teach students these skills by:

  • Facilitating broad-based participation and skill development in debate and speech activities
  • Coordinating where school structures exist and building supports where no other structures are present
  • Assisting grassroots organizations using debate and speech as a tool to build character, citizenship and leadership
  • Increasing participation at SEDA events/activities from rural and urban schools
  • Fostering excellence in debate and to providing ample opportunity to engage
  • Saskatchewan youth on critical issues

Community - we are all SEDA

SEDA is an organization that interacts heavily with its members. We all have a role to play within the debate community. We seek to

  • Generate interest in debate in new or struggling programs
  • Increase our ties with and visibility in schools, universities and other organizations to further our sense of community
  • Build real life connections - using debate in community activities across the province
  • Respect cultural, religious, regional, and all other differences
  • Highlight the social aspect of debate and promote good sportsmanship

Advocacy

Debate is a small community within the province and across Canada. Many people negatively associate debate with certain demographics, and are afraid to participate in public speaking activities. Long term we wish to change this image and spread the belief that anyone can participate in debate. We hope to

  • Encourage recognition of the importance of debate and speech
  • Make debate a more accepted activity
  • Expand and diversify our community every year

Excellence

As our organization continues to grow, we wish to focus on our mechanism for hosting tournaments. It is our goal to

  • Increase the quality of our events and tournaments in terms of organization, and consistency
  • Continue organizing and clarifying the structure of SEDA

Transparency

While we feel as though SEDA connects to the community well, we know that there is always room for improvement, as an organization we commit to

  • Adopting a transparent systems for our Board of Directors, judging, and funding policies
  • Clear and decisive decision-making with every decision we make

Board of Directors 2017-2018

SEDA’s volunteer board of directors includes teachers, lawyers, parents, alumni, students who are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

Excluding the Past President, eight of the other members are elected at the AGM.  Alumni representatives, one each from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina are appointed. The Board then votes and determines who will serve as President, Vice-President and Treasurer.  Directors serve two year terms.  To preserve continuity, four are elected and one appointed annually.

Dana Brûlé

Past President

Term exp 2018


Wendy James

President

Term exp 2019


John Costa

Vice-President

Term exp 2019


Krista Zerr

Secretary / Treasurer

Term exp 2018


Michael Fahie

Board Member

Term exp 2019


Melissa Gerlach

Board Member

Term exp 2018


Sarah Myers

Board Member

Term exp 2018


Caroline Smith

Board Member

Term exp 2019


Janessa Weir

Board Member

Term exp 2019


Andy Luu

North Alumni Representative (USDS)

Term exp 2019


Vacant

South Alumni Representative (URDS)


Melissa Ong

Executive Director


Erin Weir

Program Director