The longest-running debating tournament in the country, the ALSA Universitas Indonesia English Competition, kicked off for the 17th time yesterday. In the last two editions, SMA 4 Denpasar, also known as Foursma, reigned supreme in the high school category while UI teams championed the varsity level. Both institutions are bent on completing a hat-trick this year.
In securing their back-to-back titles, the winning Foursma teams paraded an aura of dominance, beating all opponents and topping the speaker tab. This year's line-up looks as formidable as their seniors after they won another UI-held debate tournament, Kompek FEUI, last February. The Bali debaters indeed are hot favourites this year. ALSA UI E-Comp is the most prestigious institution-based tournament for high schools in Indonesia.
UI has a different story. The 2011 and 2012 successful squads both lost a match in the preliminaries before bouncing back to victory. Only with the same kind of perseverance UI could triumph this year, especially after the powerhouse has come short from winning any major tournament in 2013. One of the biggest challenges will be from Universitas Gadjah Mada, which is fielding the same exact team that won the ALSA Unpad E-Challenge last February. ALSA UI E-Comp is one of the three classics in the Indonesian varsity debating scene.
Each category has 50 participating teams. Preliminaries will end on Sunday. The grand finals will take place on Tuesday at UI's law school in Depok.
For the ALSA UI E-Comp hall of fame, click here.