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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 38 | September 30 , 2007|


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Mr Speaker, I beg to differ.....
Sparkle of Arguments: 1st UU Inter University Debating Championship 2007

Niaz Morshed Chowdhury & Humayra Tasnuva Chowdhury

Argument, counter-argument, logic, silent round tension, socials, break night, grand dinner it almost seemed as if the World University Debating Championship (WUDC) is being hosted in Bangladesh! In the last few days people felt the heat of Worlds in our city. For the first time in Bangladesh, Uttara University (UU) hosted debating tournament solely based on World Universities Debating Championship format with all of its sparkling segments. 45 teams from 13 institutions participated in this ten day long event from 3 to 12 September 2007. Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka won the UU Bengali IV (Inter Varsity) title while Mastermind clinched on the UU English IV championship. East West University and Islamic University of Technology acquired the Runner's up title in Bengali and English IV respectively.

The tournament started on 3rd September with a lively and interactive briefing session on WUDC debating format conducted by prominent WUDC expert Mr Shameem Reza, Assistant Professor, University of Dhaka. Mr Reza in his briefing showed a copyrighted television video of a WUDC final and also clarified most of the arguments presented in that debate.

The main tournament was divided into two segments, UU Bengali IV and UU English IV where five common rounds were set for the Bengali and four for the English IV. Teams in those initial rounds competed with each other based on a WUDC practiced method - Power Pairing. In this method all the top teams in the point table compete with each other while lower teams are arranged to fight among them. Once a top team gets defeated, moves to the bottom portion of the table and in the next round they fight with the comparatively weaker teams that increases their chance to win and get back their position again in the elite part of the table.

Maintaining the tradition of worlds, last two rounds of each segment were silent. Result of these two rounds was suppressed from the participants as well as from the audience until the break night. Break night, one of the most exciting events of debating competition was introduced for the first time in university level debating in Bangladesh at Uttara University on 8 September 2007. Though last two years, Bangladesh Debating Council (BDC) in their Pre-World School Debating Championship arranged this event but in the university level it was the first occasion to have a break night.

It's like an evening party that starts with a concert followed by a grand dinner and ends with a tense announcement segment. In fact it was a result episode where names of sixteen breaking teams were declared. Eight teams from Bengali IV and Eight teams from English IV were selected for the semifinal rounds. During this result episode, names of seven teams were declared according to their points in a decreasing order. But the eighth one took time which made every one very tensed as it would be the name of only one team from a bunch of giant teams and through announcing this name tournament said goodbye to all other teams except those elite eight.

In Bengali IV IBA A led the point table securing 15 points with clean sweep win on all the initial rounds while EWU B and UIU A followed them securing second and third positions. On the other hand in English IV IUT A secured 12 points again with a clean sweep all-round-win whereas NSU A and IUT B followed them staying at second and third position respectively.

Later, a young and enthusiastic band Dream Intervener performed during the tense 'break night' with their unplugged concert. With Ovik as the vocal and Shams, Robi, Saniad and Gourab forming the rest of the band, they performed different famous Bengali band songs. During the concert UU arranged a buffet Grand Dinner which brought a perfect Worlds feeling in a Bangladeshi debating tournament.

In the Bengali IV, East West University B won the first semifinal along with IBA A by beating University of Dhaka (GOD) B and Stamford University C. In the second semifinal Stamford University A and East West University A made it to the final leaving behind United International University A and Barisal Medical College A.

English IV semifinals were extremely competitive and it took one and half hour for the judges to decide on the winning teams after each of the debates. From the first semifinal, Islamic University of Technology A and Mastermind A moved to the final by defeating North South University A and North South University C. In the second semifinal Islamic University of Technology D and North South University D could make it to the final as they defeated Stamford University B and Islamic University of Technology B.

Grand Finale of this ten day long colorful event was held on 12 September 2007 at Uttara University NZ campus. Bengali IV Grand Final motion was “This house believes that economic growth is the solution to the climate change” (translated) which is a famous motion used for the Grand Final of World Universities Debating Championship 2007 in the University of British Colombia, Canada. Institute of Business Administration A with a dazzling performance once again defeated other teams to clinch the Bengali IV Championship. East West University B, a team of all freshmen became the Runner's Up of this event. Stamford University A and East West University A received third and fourth place respectively.

In the English IV Grand Final a college team who entered the championship as a wild card entry made the biggest upset. Motion for this Grand Final was “This house believes that Nationalism is a Pandora's Box”. Mastermind who were runner's up in the BDC Pre-World School Championship Bangladesh in past and received an honorary chance to compete with the university people at UU defeated Islamic University of Technology A who were champion in the last few interuniversity championships by a marginal difference in the final to clinch the English IV Championship. Islamic University of Technology D and North South University D came third and fourth respectively.

Prominent debating personality Hasan Mahmud was the speaker of the Bengali IV Grand Final whereas young and fervent world debate specialist, founder Chair of Bangladesh Debating Council Rashedul Hasan Stalin was the speaker of the English IV Grand Final. A panel of former world and parliamentary debaters including Saddam Hossain, Tanvir Ahmed Haroon, Alam Ishraq Chowdhury Rudra, Azim Ahmed, Rezwan Kabir, Nafis Ahmed, Mahbubur Rahman and Abdullah Ahmed Chowdhury adjudicated this whole championship till the Grand Finale.

Renowned debating personality, captain of BTV champion team 1996 from Dhaka University and currently Chairman, National Debate Federation Bangladesh A K M Shoaib and Shameem Reza, Assistant Professor of Dhaka University and world debate specialist had the honor to be the debating advisors of this grand event.

In the prize giving ceremony Raqibul Hasan, former captain Bangladesh National Cricket team, Zobera Rahman Linu, Guiness Book Record holding Table Tennis legend and Eaysmin Ara Lekha, Dean Uttara University were present as special guests. Dr. M. Azizur Rahman, Vice-Chancellor Uttara University distributed trophies among the winners being the chief guest of the session.

Champion's reaction

UU Bengali IV Champion -
Institute of Business Administration

It's been a pleasure being at the UU Bengali IV. IBA has always tried to participate at different debating competitions both at home and abroad. Out of this commitment, IBA participated at this championship and is proud to clinch the title of Bengali IV. Though UUDC is a new member in the debating fraternity, they've put up a gorgeous show. The best part of the entire event was the level of enthusiasm and integrity of UUDC members and UU authority. The hospitality out there was simply awesome. The program might not have got such glory without the detailed supervision of UUDC moderator Mr. Niaz Morshed Chowdhury, who is famous as Shanto Bhai to most of us, debaters. IBA congratulates and thanks UUDC for the successful hosting of 1st Bengali debate competition in worlds format. IBA has been there to promote debating activities and Inshallah will be there, especially with UUDC. (Morshed Ul Arefin Captain, IBA)

UU English IV Champion - Mastermind

When we were asked to come and participate in this tournament, we were told that our role was limited to that of a "Swing" team. On arrival at Uttara University, we found that we were given the breaking status and since then it was a totally different Mastermind who participated at the English IV. It definitely feels good to create an upset and I'd like to thank Mr. Niaz Morshed for giving us the opportunity to participate in this tournament. This was the first national in Bangladesh which followed the WUDC format and this is very important when it comes to universities from Bangladesh participating at the World University Debate Championship each year because practice will make our debaters perfect.
(Nazm Us Saadat, Captain, Mastermind)


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