As part of the university’s Centennial festivities, over a thousand participants from seventy nations will come for the 32nd World University Debate Championship, dubbed as Worlds. It will be part of the University’s legacy and the whole world gets to watch.
Young debaters in the world will battle it out in the “Olympics” of debating. Spanning nine elimination rounds, penultimate rounds, and the final round, the neck-to-neck competition will determine the best debaters on the planet.
DLSU won the bid to host the 2012 Worlds last year at the 2010 Turkey Worlds. Botswana will host the 2011 championship.
Hosting the next year’s Worlds will benefit not only the Lasallian community, but also the Asian community. “Our [Worlds office] goal is to take this opportunity to uplift the standard of debating here in Asia, particularly in the Philippines” Bianca Lagdameo, deputy convener of the 2012 Worlds mentions.
In the case of most Asian debaters, English is not their first language. Debating against countries with English as their first language is disadvantageous for them. This contributes to the low probability of Asian teams winning.
Economic reasons also deter Asians from doing well in Worlds. In the past, some Asian teams weren’t able to participate in the competition due to costly air fare and registration fee. Representatives from Asia are not as financially well off compared to the European and other first world countries.
DLSU’s hosting of the Worlds can help change the status quo. First, the registration fee and air fare is cheaper attracting more attendees from Asian countries and second, there is a separate division for debaters who use English as their first language and English as their second language. According to Lagdameo, the divisions will enable fair competition.
The past few tournaments were held outside Asia, providing little access to Asian teams; the last time the country hosted the Worlds was in 1999. Ateneo de Manila University won the bid.
The Worlds team also sponsors different debate competitions and seminars throughout Asia. They are taking every opportunity they to hone the skills and prepare the Asian for the 2012 championship. DLSU’s Debate Society (LSDS) is working with the Worlds team in hosting different debate competitions in the country.
The Adjudication Core that will oversee the 2012 championship promises to be top-notch with Debate Society alumna Lucinda Teresa David and multiple debate awards winner, Sam Block, as co-chief adjudicators. The Worlds team is aiming to contract 60 adjudicators from the six continents to help David and Block in the judging
Worlds will be one of the activities that will conclude DLSU’s celebration of its centennial year. LSDS officially launched Worlds, Dec. 20, at the Hyatt Hotel.