Tuesday, December 31, 2013

WUDC 2014: Chennai Worlds Will Be Remembered for Its Drama

It won't be Worlds without drama but Chennai tops it. The 2014 World Universities Debating Championships in the Indian city has experienced a gamut of problems, ranging from chronic delays, bed shortages, a bus breakdown, poor internet connection, live stream glitches, unsatisfying meals and lack of official online match ups. All of those problems could happen in any tournament of this size. However, there have been two other issues that are disturbingly serious - the police questioning of Pakistani debaters and the threat of judges boycotting the competition.

While details are sketchy about the first matter, debaters from Pakistan - India's real world nemesis - had to face the authorities who wanted to know them and their visas better. The encounter raised the possibility of replacing them with swings in the middle of the second day for preliminary debates. That worst scenario was averted but the whole incident affected scheduling. It was nice to know debaters around the world showed their support for the Pakistanis when they were allowed to return to the scene.

The second problem is more divisive. Independent judges, many from traditional debating powerhouses, threatened to strike after reports of organisers wanting to renege on promises. Some were promised they could get subsidies in advance for the willingness to fly to India while others thought they would get the travel incentives at the start of the tournament. When they heard news that none of their cost would be reimbursed, these adjudicators united and demanded accountability. Day 3 of preliminaries got delayed before an agreement was reached. After missing a deadline, organizers said subsidies would be paid in the afternoon. Unofficial reports are saying the Rajalakshmi Engineering College, which is hosting WUDC Chennai, understood allowing a boycott to happen would be shameful.

There is a positive side from WUDC Chennai. The first seven motions satisfied the quench for straightforward, fair and relevant debates for global citizens. Many were unimpressed with some of the motions in WUDC Manila and Berlin, especially with the long, convoluted ones. There were abundant complaining tweets right after they were announced although it has to be said that the short and clean motion for WUDC Manila's grand final won applause. There has been close to zero poking at WUDC Chennai motions and the 'hook-up culture' motion right before socials was apt. For Indonesians, the motions on payment to victims of crimes, political dynasties and US funding of madrassas are all real issues. (Full list of motions will be uploaded after WUDC Chennai ends).

While there may be more twists and turns in WUDC Chennai along the way, hopefully the high quality of the motions and debates can keep the spirit alive. The simple wish is remembering WUDC 2014 for the debates besides its drama in the land of Bollywood.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

WUDC 2014: 11 Indonesian Teams Compete in the Most Prestigious Debate

The preliminary rounds of the 2014 World Universities Debating Championships began today in Chennai, India with 11 teams from Indonesia, including a pair from remote Papua province. They are as follows:

Binus International A (Jaran Walia & Invi Atmanegara)
Binus University A (Cassandra Etania Liem & Rivera Kathryn)
Institut Pertanian Bogor A (Deanty Mulia & M.Iqbal Maulana)
Institut Teknologi Bandung A (Vicario Reinaldo & Fauzan Reza)
Universitas Brawijaya A (M. Nur Rizki Oceano & Queentries Regar)
Universitas Gadjah Mada A (Amir Abdul Aziz & Nabila Aghniarizqa)
Universitas Indonesia A (Egalita Irfan & Roderick Sibarani)
Universitas Indonesia B (Elghafiky Bimardhika & Aulia Anggita)
Universitas Musamus A (Umi Rakhmawati & Feronika Hutabarat)
Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta A (Arif Burhanudin & Tika Destiratri)
Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta B (Rasman & Anisa Sukma)

While no Indonesian has broken into the main knockouts of the most prestigious debate competition on the planet, some have advanced into the ESL/EFL elimination stage. As usual, there will be 9 mandatory rounds at WUDC. The best Indonesian team in terms of score were Astrid Kusumawardhani and Miranda Anwar from UI with 16 points in WUDC 2008. They broke first into the ESL knockouts that year. Let's see whether the WUDC 2014 teams can match that feat or break the record.      

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jaran Walia Tops IndoDebate 2013 Debater of the Year Table

Jaran Walia from Binus International - Debater of the Year 2013
Jaran Walia from Jakarta-based Binus International's School of Marketing is the 2013 IndoDebate Debater of the Year after a great run in the last 12 months. He married the two national titles, the Indonesia Varsities English Debate and the National Universities Debating Championship, for the first time in history and won two other domestic tournaments. He also broke in a competition in Singapore and grabbed the best EFL speaker title in Asian BP in China. In total, Jaran collected 51 points, a lot more than the two previous DOTY title holders. His NUDC and IVED partner Invi Atmanegara came third on the table.

Throughout the year, Jaran and Invi received challenges from Universitas Gadjah Mada debaters Alif Satria and Amir Abdul Aziz who were prominent in small tournaments but failed to excel in major events. After his landmark NUDC victory in August, Jaran surpassed his rivals and never dropped from the top. He will not be on the list next year after finishing his studies recently. He is still eligible for the upcoming World Universities Debating Championships 2014 in Chennai.

Despite their failure in holding the DOTY 2013 lead, UGM debaters had a breakout year. Six ended in the top 20 compared to one in 2012. Alif Satria, this year's runner-up, is only in his second year and has a bright future. Universitas Indonesia also have 6 debaters in that group.

All of the debaters in the top 20, bar one, come from the four debating powerhouses -- Binus International, UGM, UI and Institut Teknologi Bandung. The sole dark horse was Nur Rizki Oceano from Universitas Brawijaya. Universitas Bakrie, Universitas Parahyangan and Universitas Atma Jaya that had debaters in top 20 last year all slumped in 2013. The dominance of the big four underlines the need for regeneration in other clubs and proliferation of debating skills to other regions, especially outside of Java island. Click here for the full table.

Top 20 on IndoDebate's Debater of the Year 2013 list are:
  1. Jaran Walia (Binus International)
  2. Alif Satria (Universitas Gadjah Mada)
  3. Invi Atmanegara (Binus International)
  4. Roderick Sibarani (Universitas Indonesia)
  5. Amir Abdul Aziz (Universitas Gadjah Mada)
  6. Indriani Pratiwi (Universitas Gadjah Mada)
  7. Boby Andika Ruitang (Universitas Indonesia)
  8. Melisa Irene (Binus International)
  9. Magreta Kailla Adenta (Universitas Indonesia)
  10. Fauzan Reza Maulana (Institut Teknologi Bandung)
  11. Romario Tambunan (Universitas Gadjah Mada)
  12. Vicario Reinaldo (Institut Teknologi Bandung)
  13. Dennys Kapa (Universitas Indonesia)
  14. Nabila Aghniarizqa (Universitas Gadjah Mada)
  15. Dianty Widyowati (Universitas Gadjah Mada)
  16. Aulia Anggita (Universitas Indonesia)
  17. Elghafiky Bimardhika (Universitas Indonesia)
  18. Nur Rizki Oceano (Universitas Brawijaya)
  19. Wilson Salim (Binus International)
  20. Alris Alfharisi (Institut Teknologi Bandung)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

UT Mara Wins KL Debate, Binus Intl Debaters Reach QF

Malaysia's Universiti Teknologi Mara A (Shafiq Bazari & Rafiq Saladin) last weekend championed the 2013 Kuala Lumpur Open Challenge, the last Asian preparatory tournament before the 2014 World Universities Debating Championships in Chennai. Three Indonesian teams went to the event, including Binus International B (Invi Atmanegara & Andrianto Khiputra) who broke into the quarterfinals. UT Mara, which will host the 2015 WUDC, also won the MMU IV a week before KLOC.

Friday, December 20, 2013

South Africa, Greece Launch Bid to Host WUDC 2016

Asia will host the next two World Universities Debating Championships but the tournament will head for a different continent in 2016. Bids from South Africa and Greece, two countries that have hosted WUDC before, are out with unique features for debaters to mull over until the vote next month.

University of the Witwatersrand
University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg is behind the South African bid. The bid's most attractive offer is not its yakka party or safari tour. It is the promise to create the biggest WUDC ever by accommodating at least 520 teams. No WUDC has exceeded 400 competing pairs. Another unusual part of the bid is the origin of the chief adjudicators who will not come from the home institution, country or even continent. WUDC 2013 best speaker Pam Cohn (Toronto, Durham, ULU) and Asian BP 2012 best speaker Syed Saddiq (IIU) from Malaysia have been recruited for those positions. Click here for details.

Waterfront of Thessaloniki
The other bid shouts 'Debating Comes Home'. The Debating Society of Greece wants to bring WUDC back to the land of Socrates who planted the roots of dialectics 2,400 years ago. It is billed as Thessaloniki 2016, underlining the host city, an ancient port that has turned into South Europe's party capital. Most debates would be at the University of Macedonia. The CA would be Manos Moschopoulos (Deree, ULU), one of Greece's most accomplished debaters. Click here for details.

Indonesia is part of the group of nations with the most votes (4) in the WUDC Council. The Indonesian choice in WUDC 2014 Chennai can be decisive. For Indonesian debaters, South Africa's larger cap means more teams, regardless of past results, can register but the journey to Johannesburg is longer and costlier than a trip to Greece.       

Thursday, December 12, 2013

IVED 2014: Prepared Motions

Three rounds of the 2014 Indonesian Varsities English Debate in Salatiga will have prepared motions. The adjudication core consisting of chief Rizki Akita (Universitas Diponegoro) and her deputies Alris Alfharisi (Institut Teknologi Bandung), Elghafiky Bimardhika (Universitas Indonesia) and Thoriq Murtadho (Universitas Gadjah Mada) announced them yesterday. Here they are:

THW disallow commercial and investment banks to merge
THBT countries with aging population should ease the entry of productive-age immigrants
THW compel multinational corporations to maintain a minimum proportion of employees from their original countries before they can outsource their manufacturing work to other countries

THW abolish life sentence for non-violent crimes
THW not punish a person who committed premeditated murder if s/he was experiencing ongoing domestic violence
THBT nations should not have the right to self-defense (under Article 51 of the UN Charter) against terrorist groups

THBT the dissolution of the Golden Dawn Party inflicts more harm than good to Greece
As Western government, THW prohibit Western extraction companies to invest and operate in pariah states
THBT Latin American countries should legalize drugs, even without the approval of the United Nations and United States 

Bipeds-UI Composite Part of Elite Club in Singapore Debate

Binus International debater Jaran Walia, who is leading the 2013 Debater of the Year table, teamed up with Universitas Indonesia speaker Boby Ruitang for last weekend's Singapore Management University BP 2013 and the duo broke 11th, allowing them to advance along with top Asian debaters. Their journey stopped at the quarterfinals where they almost pulled off an upset in a tournament full of regional debaters who were preparing for Worlds. An international hybrid, Robin Teo from National University of Singapore and Valeri Inting from the University of the Philippines, emerged as the champions. Both of them have won the United Asian Debating Championship before, representing their respective schools.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

FT2013: Key Results & Motions

Grand Final Founders Trophy 2013
Champions: Melanie Tedja (Ex-UI) & Luthfi Abdurrahman (Ex-ITB)
Finalists: Roderick Sibarani (UI) & Egalita Irfan (UI), Boby Ruitang (UI) & Satrio Adi Pratama (ex Undip), Eldhianto Jusuf & Bernardo Tampubolon (ex UGM)
Best Novice Team: Bradley Gunawan (Sang Timur) & John Amadeo (Raffles)
Best Novice Speaker: Bradley Gunawan (Sang Timur) & John Amadeo (Raffles)

Top 10 Speakers
1. Melanie Tedja (ex Universitas Indonesia)
2. Luthfi Abdurrahman (ex Institut Teknologi Bandung)
3. Satrio Adi Pratama (ex Universitas Diponegoro)
4. Roderick Sibarani (Universitas Indonesia)
4. Rifan Ibnu Rahman (ex Institut Teknologi Bandung)
6. Eldhianto Jusuf (ex Universitas Gadjah Mada)
6. Boby Andika Ruitang (Universitas Indonesia)
8. Dennys Kapa (Universitas Indonesia)
9. Bernardo Tampubolon (ex Universitas Gadjah Mada)
10. Vicario Reinaldo (Institut Teknologi Bandung)
10. Invi Atmanegara (Binus International)

R1: The Real Population Bomb
Motion: THBT freedom of movement to megacities in developing countries should be restricted
Best Speaker: Luthfi Abdurrahman
R2: How the World Works
Motion: THBT international organisations (such as but not limited to World Bank) should provide equal pay to international and local staffs
Best Speaker: Melanie Tedja
R3: Drift
Motion: TH celebrates the fall of the American empire
Best Speaker: Boby Ruitang
R4: The Institutionalisation of Political Parties in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia
Motion: THBT Joko Widodo should skip the 2014 presidential race
Best Speaker: Melanie Tedja
R5: Carbon Democracy
Motion: THBT energy security is a legitimate reason for war
Best Speaker: Satrio Adi Pratama

QF: The Anti-Chinese Violence in Indonesia
Motion: THBT Chinese Indonesians should demand a full criminal investigation into the May 1998 rapes
Best Speaker: Melanie Tedja
SF: Earth Matters
Motion: THW actively pursue geo-engineering as a solution to climate change
Best Speaker: Melanie Tedja
GF: Jerusalem
Motion: THBT the fate of Jerusalem should be decided by its native inhabitants and their residing offspring
Best Speaker: Luthfi Abdurrahman

FT 2013: UI-ITB Graduates Claw Trophy, Speaker Awards

Founders Trophy 2013 champions -
Melanie Tedja & Luthfi Abdurrahman
A team comprising former Universitas Indonesia debater Melanie Tedja and Institut Teknologi Bandung graduate Luthfi "Uphie" Abdurrahman won the 2013 EDSUI Founders Trophy, billed as the "Clash of the Predators". They earned the right to hold the Papuan wooden sculpture until the next edition.

Indeed, both of them have been predatory for years. For Melanie, it was her second FT victory. She also bagged the best speaker award, her fifth after receiving it in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2011. For Uphie, it was his first time becoming FT champion after he came close a few times, including reaching the final last year. He was the best speaker of FT 2012 and 2008. This year he was the best speaker in the final and came second overall.

In the final, they defended the motion "This House Believes That the Fate of Jerusalem Should Only Be Decided by its Native Inhabitants and Their Residing Offspring" from Closing Government. The pair defeated Roderick Sibarani (UI)/Egalita Irfan (UI), Boby Ruitang (UI)/Satrio Adi Pratama (Ex-Undip) and Eldhianto Jusuf (Ex-UGM)/Bernardo Tampubolon (Ex-UGM). FT, the first nationwide open BP competition in Indonesia, is considered as the toughest because it attracts debaters from all generations.

The best novice team award went to a high school team consisting of Bradley Gunawan (Sang Timur) and John Amadeo (Raffles) who competed under a debate scholarship from EDSUI. They advanced as far as the quarterfinals. Both collected the same speaker points, making them co-best novice speakers in the tournament. Besides the trophies, FT overall and novice winners, as well as, round best speakers traditionally receive books donated by Universitas Indonesia alumni.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

FT2013: Vets Lead Break List That Includes High School Team

Veterans lead the pack at EDSUI Founders Trophy 2013. An alumni team comprising the best speakers of the last two editions, Luthfi Abdurrahman (2012) and Melanie Tedja (2011), broke first with a score of 13 after losing points in the final prelim. The dark horses in the outrounds are high school students John Amadeo and Bradley Gunawan who broke #13 above more experienced debaters. The ones who were cut included a national BP champion, a JOVED champion and two IHL champions. The break list is as follows.

  1. Melanie Tedja (ex UI) & Luthfi Abdurrahman (ex ITB)
  2. Boby Andika Ruitang (UI) & Satrio Adi Pratama (ex Undip)
  3. Eldhianto Jusuf (ex UGM) & Bernardo Tampubolon (ex UGM)
  4. Roderick Sibarani (UI) & Egalita Irfan (UI)
  5. Aulia Anggita (UI) & Dennys Kapa (UI)
  6. Dito Krista (ITB) & Vicario Reinaldo (ITB)
  7. Amir Abdul Aziz (UGM) & Nabila Aghniarizqa (UGM)
  8. Wilson Salim (Binus Intl) & Melisa Irene (Binus Intl)
  9. Jane Revevalin (ITB) & Rifan Ibnu Rahman (ex ITB)
  10. Invi Atmanegara (Binus Intl) & Jaran Walia (Binus Intl)
  11. Alif Satria (UGM) & Romario Tambunan (UGM)
  12. Albert Santoso (UI) & Aliefah Saras (Paramadina)
  13. Bradley Gunawan (Sang Timur) & John Amadeo (Raffles)
  14. Nisrina Praharso (UI) & Elvia Sumayastra (UI)
  15. Bramesada Prasastyoga (UI) & Rivera Kathryn (Binus)
  16. Davin Sutanto (Atma) & Marcella Chandra (Atma)