Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ateneo Debate Society Update

Another strong showing at this year's AustralsThe ADS completed another strong showing at this year's Australasian Intervarsity Debate Championships by finishing in the Top 8 teams of the competition. Team 1, composed of Ely Zosa (MA HI), Shiveena Parmanand (III AB DS), and Gica Mangahas (III AB SOS-DS) made it to the quarterfinals of the event.

The ADS was the only Asian team in the Top 8 and only one of 2 in the Top 16. There were 98 teams in the competition, which was hosted by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

The performance was made even more memorable because of the team's fighting spirit. At the end of the second day of preliminary rounds, the team's win-loss standing was at a discouraging 2-3. It was necessary for them to sweep the last day of debates in order to be in contention for the Top 16. After an intense final day of debating they completed the sweep and pulled through to the break rounds.

Motions from the last day
Round 6 - That the United States should stop funding the Colombian government
Round 7 - That we would give special treatment to single parents to allow them to raise their children from behind bars
Round 8 - That we would ban celebrities from participating in political campaign

After qualifying for the breaks, the team ranked 15th and were slated to face 2nd seeded University of Sydney Union in the octofinal round. The team was Affirmative, defending the motion 'that aid to Pakistan should be made conditional on allowing international forces to secure and monitor their nuclear sites.' In a momentous upset, the team pulled through to defeat the higher seed and take a slot in the Top 8.

Unfortunately the team lost an extremely close quarterfinal debate against Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) on a split decision. Vic went on to the Grand Final, where they were defeated by host university Monash.

Teams 2 and 3, composed of Vincenzo Tagle (IV AB EC-H), Mahar Mangahas (0 NON-DEGREE), and Danielle de Castro (MA POS); Cecile Gotamco (III AB DS), Jonathan Chu (IV BS ME), and James delos Santos (II AB COM), respectively; also had remarkable showings at the tournament. Both Teams 2 and 3 also finished the preliminary rounds at 5-3, with Team 2 missing the break only by a matter of points on the speaker tab. This consistently excellent performance across all teams rounds up what was certainly the strongest showing of any Asian institution at the event.

In a traditionally male-dominated field, the ADS is also proud to have been the only institution with an all-female team in the break rounds. The organization continues to break ground for women, particularly from Asia.

The organization's adjudicators were also very well-received, with alumnus Leloy Claudio (AB COM '07, Valedictorian) acting as a Deputy Chief Adjudicator for the tournament. Leloy judged the Grand Final, where he was joined by ther organization's previous moderator Sharmila Parmanand (AB POS '07). Marc Ryan Garcia (IV BS ME) also received good marks for his performance. The ADS remains committed to the development of its younger members, and is also very much proud of Pamela Chan (II BS ME), who in her first international tournament judged all the way to the quarterfinal of the main break, as well as the ESL Grand Final.

With the end of Australs also comes the end of the three-on-three season, and Varsity looks forward to competing in the British Parliamentary circuit once more. Next up will be the 11th National Debate Championship, to be hosted by Lyceum University, where the ADS seeks to defend its title for the 3rd straight year.

Angelica Simone A. Mangahas
Ateneo Debate Society

3 AB Social Science, AB Development Studies
Ateneo de Manila University

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