Now for the eleventh time in a row Za in Proti, the national debate program of Slovenia, and the World Debate Institute of the University of Vermont (USA) are organising the International Debate Academy Slovenia (IDAS). This week is a bootcamp for students, trainers and those who want to organise a tournament. The event closes with a tournament (6 rounds, Worlds Format) in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Saturday November 23:
Today is arrival day, about 110 persons (including trainers) from all over the world. Think: China, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Kazahstan, Kosovo, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, USA and Venezuela. We are staying in the incredibly nice Alpine Resort Hotel Špik near the border of Slovenia with Austria and Italy. After dinner we get an introduction to the program of coming week and we get a show debate on the motion: THW ban unpaid internships. Everyone is happy when the debate is over and one can sleep of another part of their jetlag. But not before all teams for the debate tournament have been formed and communicated.
Sunday till Thursday:
After breakfast a short introduction of the day is given and then we start. At 9:00h our first lecture, we are divided in three groups based on level, experience (in years and number of tournaments) and on the basis of nationality. The given lectures are on for example strategy. After an hour we continue with a round of exercises. Also divided in smaller groups, we discuss different strategies and approaches to different motions. Right after we are finished, the motion of the first round drops: TH regrets the Sochi Olympics. Worlds format, seven minute speeches, feedback and results followed, finally, by lunch. We have a bit time left to relax before two rounds of electives start. These are small classes on specific subjects or on specific techniques. Think of POIs for beginners, the ABC of human rights, statehood and secession, advocacy and lobbying and so on. Followed by, yes, another debate. We help ourselves to dinner and in the evening we got a social.
Motions on Sunday:
Morning debate: TH regrets the Sochi Olympics.
Afternoon debate: THW support the right to secession.
Social on Sunday:
All the countries brought something special of their country and in the bar downstairs we are organising a country exhibition. Which means we spend the evening drinking vodka, eating stroopwafels while being covered in protective eyes of Turkey. Although it is nice and cosy, all know where to find their beds early in the evening. A combination of jetlag and exhaustion due to active participation I would guess.
Monday November 25
The sun is shining and while we have an incredible view on the Alps, we continue sucking up debating strategies, tactics and theories. Here are today’s motions and a short overview of the social.
Motions on Monday:
Morning debate: When applying for adoption, THW positively discriminate in favor fo same-sex couples.
Afternoon debate: TH regrets German domination of the EU.
Social on Monday:
Exhaustion doesn’t play a role here at all. They come by our rooms, drag us out of our beds, ok more or less voluntary and with help of room mates. There is no choice but going down to the bar and enjoy the ‘Squirrel games’. And where most of you would directly think of the debate implications, no it was simply about succeeding in tasks to escape our imprisonment by the squirrels in the forest that surrounds us. From pictionary to drinking games to human knots, we got it all. In the end the ‘Whoehaha’s’ unfortunately took the title of Master of the Squirrels over the ‘What’s left’? Well let’s just say that sometimes it is better not to be able to mimic THB there is no day after tomorrow, than to be called ‘Master of the Squirrels’ for the rest of the week.
Tuesday November 26
Another day of debating, lectures and fun.
Motions on Tuesday:
Morning debate: THBT the Nobel Prize Committee should cancel the Nobel Peace Prize of Barack Obama.
Afternoon debate: THW make all public toilets unisex.
Social on Tuesday:
Today the afternoon debate and the social were switched. For those who do not know yet, we are in one of the most amazing hotels in the Alps enjoying the well-deserved good life of a debater. To give us the chance to actually use the inside pool, a pool party in the afternoon is welcomed widely. This gives us a pool full of debaters playing Marco Polo, the guys showing off on each others shoulders and all in turns relaxing in the Jacuzzi.
Wednesday November 27
Today lectures are about poi’s mainly. What to do, when to do it and how to do it.
Motions on Wednesday:
Morning debate: THBT governments should actively discourage consumer lifestyles.
Afternoon debate: TH supports the force feeding of incarcerated hunger strikers.
Social on Wednesday:
Those who wanted to do an act were invited to sign up and come to the bar downstairs. When in the end no one signed up at all, it was said that each country should do something. This created an evening of very bad Romanian music, although very much appreciated, classical American songs in karaoke, guitar playing, dancing and even an martial arts demonstration.
Thursday November 28
Last day of trainings, last day in the hotel and the last day of practise debates.
Motions on Thursday:
Morning debate: THW ban multinational beverage corporations.
Afternoon debate: THW grant to all indigenous groups the right to their own legal system based on their traditions.
Social on Thursday:
Just a tip for those who organise socials: providing debaters with a kitsch party might just get you the evening of a life time. Clothes were exchanged, swim suits came out to have a whole other purpose and a lot of the stereotypes were met. Even though the internet wasn’t always supporting the music, enough Ipods came up with classic songs and music to go all the way.
The motions of the tournament:
Round 1: TH will impose a tax to reduce the gender pay gap.
Round 2: THBT EU nations should stop cooperating with the USA on intelligence matters.
Round 3: THW not watch pornography.
Round 4: THW pay reparations to European Roma.
Round 5: THBT all corporations should become cooperatives owned and operated by workers.
Round 6: THBT the dead are the property of the state.
Breaking teams: Team (points, speaks)
1. Woodward Beaton (16, 979)
2. Senghas Solnick (15, 950)
3. Koruza Medvedsek (13, 937)
4. Kukavica Munda (13, 928)
5. Groenewald Craffert (13, 928)
6. Hrzic Cvikl (12, 947)
7. Surdea Toade (12, 936)
8. Kruchkow Munsil (12, 909)
9. Lukomska Decharne (12, 909)
10. Aggerwal Tumas (11, 927)
11. Smigoc Persak (11, 919)
12. Mehedinti Cimpeanu (11, 916)
13. Polsak Svagan (11, 911)
14. Berger Cvikl (11, 907)
(15.) Porter Cope (10, 937)
(16.) Mata Villegas (10, 902)
Motion quarterfinals: THW not induce a tax on bitcoins.
OG: Aggerwal Tumas
OO: Senghas Solnick
CG: Berger Cvikl
CO Koruza Medvedsek
OG: Mehedinti Cimpeanu
OO: Groenewald Craffert
CG: Lukomska Decharne
CO: Woodward Beaton
Motion semi-finals: THW apply universal jurisdiction to crimes against the environment.
OG: Aggerwal Tumas
OO: Koruza Medvedsek
CG: Woodward Beaton
CO: Lukomska Decharne
Motion final: THBT the recent Geneva agreement with Iran will fail.
Congratulations to Stephen Beaton and Trevor Woodward of the US Air Force Academy on winning IDAS 2013, as well to Stephen for being best speaker (82,33 average).
Thanks also to Za in Pronti and the University of Vermont for organising, the huge faculty of providing the best trainings and never be tired of giving feedback.