Friday, January 4, 2013

WUDC 2013: Monash Wins Again, Sets Records

Maritim Hotel Berlin - the venue of the WUDC 2013 finals
Monash reign continues in the World Universities Debating Championships. In an all-Oceania final at WUDC 2013, #48 Monash University B (James Beavis & Nita Rao) defeated #2 University of Sydney B (Paul Karp & Dominic Bowes), #6 University of Auckland A (Stephanie Thompson & Ben Milsom) and  #24 University of Otago A (Alec Dawson & Kieran Bunn).

This is Monash's third victory in a row. No other institution has done this before. It is also its fifth WUDC title, matching the record held by University of Sydney and University of Glasgow. The best speaker award also went to Melbourne-based Monash through Chris Bisset (Monash A) who shared the title with Pam Cohn (University of London Union A). Both speakers fell in the quarterfinals at the hands of Monash B.  

But what makes this Monash B triumph extra sweet is they made history as the first under-32 team that won WUDC. That would have been impossible had the council voted against the break expansion from 32 teams to 48. The landmark decision to expand the break list paved the way for a strong team with high speaker scores to compensate points dropped during the preliminary stage. #48 Monash B might have been last to break and only gathered 17 points from 9 rounds but they were the only team with that many points that broke, which means they had the highest speaker scores from the 17-point lot. Actually, Monash B's combined speaker score was even higher than #4 University of Cambridge A that had 21 points. Below #2 Sydney B, Monash B had the second highest speaker scores among the finalists. It was not suprising that Monash B whip Nita Rao got the 10th best speaker title.
The champions defeated the motion "This House Would Not Allow Religious Communities to Expel Members on the Basis of Views or Actions that Contradict Doctrinal Teachings" from Closing Opposition, the position from where they first won WUDC in 1999. Monash bagged the two previous WUDC titles from Opening Government.

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