SevenTwenty will give all bids for WUDC a space to promote their bid. First up: Mexico.
Why did we decide to host the World Universities Debating Championship in México?
It can be argued that México is America’s youngest democracy, with only 16 years of existence. This step though, has not meant that all the democratic freedoms are available to everyone. The majority (over 50 million) of people in the country remain poor, and under 15% are able to attend university. There is also a big misunderstanding of what democracy means, particularly because there are systemic constraints that avoid people to be well informed of what happéns in the country, or see alternatives to paradigms or political options that are presented in a dogmatic way.
México is a country in sheer need of debate. Here it is largely (mis)understood as talking in a sophisticated and rhetoric way. that might totally lack content but as long as it sounds like “a political speech” it is considered a great speech. This has very negative results in terms of what is understood as “debate” in politics, education and everyday life.
There are, however, some of us that are students or former students that are in a position of privilege and have attended some of the best universities in the country and the world, and have have competed at the world’s main tournaments. We want to change the meaning of the word “debate” here, and we are sure that bringing an event like the World Universities Debating Championship will give important visibility to the activity, change paradigms of what it means, get more support to the activity from key public and private actors that can help spread the activity around the country, and it would help us help set up several teams.
In 2014, the Tec de Monterrey Campus Estado de México team organized WUDC in Spanish (CMUDE) and bringing it here had a multiplier effect: internationally,we literally called universities and set the first parliamentary debate teams in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Panamá to compete at the tournament. After that, Panamá has already hosted a national championship and competed at Worlds 2016. With Worlds in México we will make sure the same happens and that several countries that have never attended Worlds or have been absent for several years, are finally able to participate. Same case with many teams from countries that already attend Worlds, but can’t afford the trip. It is time, after 38 years, for Worlds to come to our region.
Domestically, before that tournament we could only talk about three teams in the country, all from the México City metropolitan area. But for that championship, 12 universities competed, and that helped us concrete several projects in 2015: we had a Metropolitan League, a National Championship in Spanish (with teams from 8 states and 16 universities), a National Championship in English (MUDC), and México rose from being a single university competing three years earlier, to seventeen at CMUDE Colombia, becoming the country with most teams.
At WUDC México 2018 we are committed to change the meaning of WUDC and attach many social programs based on debate for México and the region of Latin America and the Caribbean in the two years leading towards the tournament, as well as the days before and during the event, with plans for making it a turning point for canalizing resources for future debate projects.
Beyond all of this, the Mexicans are people that are very passionate about our country and culture, and we love to share it with the world. Maybe in debate we have not won world championships, but if there was a “best host” world championship, we would be tough to beat. We want to show that. We are keen to show that the Mexicans defy stereotypes and can put on world-class events in terms of hospitality and organization and our commitment is to do the best WUDC ever. When we hosted CMUDE we gave another meaning to that championship (and ran a tab with no delays), and we want to use local talent for innovating on tab, IT, registration, social impact and many other areas where we will leave a legacy for debating.
Every bid will include a world -class adjudication team. What they cannot promise is a plan for real deep social change, the cheerful spirit (not only in terms of alcohol) of the Mexicans, the city with most World Heritage sites in the world, and our eagerness to share why we can be the best hosts, always. We’re proud to propose.
David Alatorre López & Montserrat Legorreta
Co-Convenors WUDC México 2018
We can bring back powerful adjudication to our circuit – using smart tools to encourage and cherish judging. Simultaneously, we should take responsibility for judging and share our knowledge across the circuit. It’s important to maintain a dialogue around developments such as these in our circuit. In order to respond adequately to challenges in Dutch debating, we need to identify existing problems and offer solutions to try and make a change. It’s my hope that this article will contribute to that as a first step.
The biggest take-away from this year’s Worlds University Debating Championships was that you can put 1400 of the most engaging brilliant young minds across the world in an old gym hall on a farm outside of Thessaloniki, and they will all come up with amazing ideas and insights and prove to be fantastic friends.
This year’s Worlds took place in Greece. Ambitiously billed “Debating comes home”, 386 teams from over 50 different countries participated over nine days, debating 19 topics and crowning three champions in three language categories: Harvard A (English as a First Language), De La Salle A (English as a Second Language) and AET Athens A (English as a Foreign Language). The Dutch were represented by nine teams. The two teams from Leiden University reached the semi-finals of the ESL category; The team from Radboud University was knocked out of the quarter finals in the EPL category, setting a Dutch achievement record.