Vic Team Comes Fifth, Stays Clothed.
VICTORIA’S DEBATERS are in a state of profound grief after the coveted top spot in the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (“Australs”) was taken out by a team from across the ditch.
78 teams from around the Asia-Pacific region battled head-to-head throughout the competition, but the final was a Melbourne affair, with Monash University 1 winning the competition and Melbourne University 1 placing second.
Victoria 1, comprising of Joe Connell, Sayeqa Islam and Stephen Whittington, came fifth overall, winning 6 of their 7 debates before eventually being knocked out in the quarter-final. Islam also ranked fourth overall in the speaker-points stakes, with Connell placing sixth.
Whittington says Vic 1’s success was very much a team effort. “We just tried to get down what we knew about the topics, facts and things like that, and then work from there to create a a cohesive argumental line to take in the debate.” He adds that the team’s placing was “the best Victoria’s done in about 8 years.”
Despite the competition being held on home turf, Vic 1 was the only New Zealand team to make the top ten, and seemingly one of the few who remained fully-clothed during public events. Contrary to the misconception that debating is for nerds, competition convener Chris Bishop says that the after-hours hotel-room parties and nuderuns by Otago competitors are “totally characteristic of debaters”.