Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NUEDC 2012: UNY Top Novice Group, Win Berlin Ticket

#1Novice Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (Retno Rahma Safitri & Niki Septi Pawestri) won the novice category in the 2012 National Universities English Debating Championship, giving them the right for state funding to go to the World Universities Debating Championship in Berlin. In the final, they defeated non-Java challengers #6Novice Politeknik Ujung Pandang (Furqon Kokoh & Muhammad Rifai)\, #9Novice STBA Teknokrat (Danang & Septian Trisilo) and #10Novice Politeknik Tonggak Equator (Jeffrey Hartanto & Sisca).

Retno Rahma Safitri also became the best novice speaker in NUEDC 2012. She was a member of the UNY team that won the best novice team award in the 2012 Indonesian Varsities English Debate, the national 3-on-3 debating tournament, making her the first person to combine the novice titles of two major competitions in a single year. Kudos also should be given to Jane Revevalin from Institut Teknologi Bandung, who is actually in her first year of debating, for reaching the final of the main category and getting into the overall top 10 speakers. She was not eligible to compete in the NUEDC novice races because she had won a nationwide tournament last April. In NUEDC, the novice category is performance-based and designed exclusively for those who have failed to break in open contest.

The novice category in Indonesia is ill-defined and the rules differ from competition to competition. In NUEDC 2012, novice team Universitas Paramadina (Niken Anjar & Siti Octrina Malikah) wanted to join the main knockouts when the debaters learned they had won enough points to break into the top 32 safely. Unfortunately, the organisers blocked them from competing in the higher category. In NUEDC 2011, novice teams that could break into the main elimination stage were given a choice to stay in the lower category and go for the tougher challenge. Some remained to race for the WUDC ticket but some also went for the chance to debate with better teams. The rule change failed to be communicated. In international competitions like WUDC or Australs, participants from the lower category (ESL/EFL) can automatically compete in the main knockout if they can collect sufficient points for that.  

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