Founded during the 1997-98 year, the Debate Union worked with the Gargoyle Society to provide a campus forum for debating current issues. The Union was based loosely on the Oxford Union and held public debates throughout the year. These debates featured two teams of three, with each team comprising of a Williams faculty member, a current or former Williams student, and an invited speaker. Each team would give two speeches, and then members of the audience could give a two-minute "floor speech" supporting one side or the other. Afterward, each team would close with a speech.