Student Life

Champions in international debate, 2020

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A team from the UP Mindanao Debate Society won over Filipino and Malaysian teams to emerge as champions in the first edition of The Novice Debate (TND) 2020, organized by Way of Life Consolidated Education (WOLCE) and held online via Zoom on 15-16 August 2020. Frederick Omalza (BS Biology 2019) and Michael John Galendez (2BS Agribusiness Economics) triumphed in a 5-2 split decision with their convincing opposition to a motion for capable individuals to forgo non-essential activities in times of crisis.
“We argued that people in vulnerable situations need alternatives to avoid psychological degradation and for people to help in ways they can be most effective,” said Galendez.
On the road to the championship, Omalza and Galendez, carrying the team name “JaoKiks,” survived the rigorous elimination rounds to join the top 16 teams in the quarterfinals where they won a consensus decision in their opposition to a motion that preferred a world without a concept of fate and destiny. 
In the semifinals, the UP Mindanao team won a unanimous decision over Malaysian teams in opposing a motion for the US to intervene in the India-China conflict. 
“We argued that the US should not intervene because it has the potential to give a strategic excuse for the Chinese Communist Party to legitimize further military actions in the Himalayas,” said Galendez. 
The unanimous decision allowed them to proceed to the grand finals, and eventually capture the championship title. 
TND was done in the British Parliamentary format which saw 40 teams from various debate institutions all over Asia to compete against each other in motions spanning from philosophy, law, international relations and crises, to pop culture, technology, and tourism. A Novice, according to the organizers, is one who has not participated in any of the identified major international debate tournaments.  (Source: UP Mindanao Debate Society)

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