Yesterday, the last debate competition I’d join this year has ended. It feels a little bit sad that those months of intensive training would finally come to an end but to end it with a tournament as prestigious as Founders’ Trophy was indeed amazing. With challenging motions, exceptional participants ranging from national champions to senior debaters with years of experience, and high quality debaters, this tournament is easily one of the most exciting BP tournament in Indonesia.This time me and my pal Haris had the pleasure to be N1 adjudicator from IPB.
IPB succesfully break one team into quarter final and have one breaking adjudicator. Our version of Tsubasa Ozora and Taro Misaki, Adhi and Rio were not able to pass semi-final after losing to Kaila-Ahmad and Wilson-Melissa. I didn’t see the whole debate but apparently Adhi’s speech was impressive enough that Mr. Ahmad, UI alumni that finally advanced to semi-final, approached him to say how great Adhi was. As expected from our Mr. Walking Wikipedia, he never ceases to impress people all around him. Another team consists of Olivia and Yos were unable to break despite being really close to do so. Their VP was same with team at 16th place but their speaker points were not high enough to make them able to break. Making it only to quarter final might not be too flashy, but surely this is a really valuable experience for Adhi and Rio’s preparation in World University Debate Championship in December.
As for me, I did able to get 13th place as one of the breaking adjudicator, however to be honest it was a less than satisfying result for me. Seeing my past result as adjudicator, it seems like I have been put in a stale result as being a panel-level adjudicator only. It was like I can only be categorized as a decent adjudicator and was yet to be a ‘good adjudicator’. Not being able to improve after days, weeks, even months of training is really frustrating. Seems like this feeling was shared with Haris also. He seems bitter to see him unable to break, especially since he was so close to do so. He was a panel from first elimination round until last round. I guess what frustrates us even more is that we could not know clearly what we did wrong and what it takes to be a better adjudicator.
Both of us want to achieve lots of things, we are impatient and failure frustrates us. This time we might be disappointed with our results now but someday our time will come.
The end result might be disappointing, but it’s not enough to make this tournament not awesome. At the very beginning I was able to see one of the best argument for affirmative action for women, at last preliminary round I got to see also another good debate about liberal democracy and pluralism. But to be honest, the debate I saw in elimination round clearly outweighs the one in preliminary round. Not being called for adjudicating semi-final round (or any elimination round actually), I decided to watch a match between Rifan-Roderick, Kaila-Ahmad, Melissa-Wilson, and Rivera-Marchella. That was definitely superb, they debate about how world fails poor people in Africa and OG came with a really great analysis on how international effort worsen the condition in Africa despite raising GDP and modernization has. The debate also feature another great analysis why forced democracy worsen the condition of state. It could be better with more engagement though, OG were unable to respond much to CO’s case that immature democracy, conditional funds, and economic inequality are normal things in development. It would be more interesting if that case were compared head to head in the same bench.
The highlight of this tournament came at grand final though. In a motion of THW prosecute Indonesian generals who did nothing to stop the abduction of activists in 1998, Satrio from Closing Opposition gave a really awesome argument about the unfairness of prosecuting people that did wrong action before a law took place and further analyze whether abduction in 1998 is a crime against humanity or not. I was clearly blown away, I didn’t think that it was possible to fit that much knowledge in one speech but Satrio did just that. That was a debate that should be compulsory to be studied in detail by all debaters especially in Indonesia.
Other thing that amazed me was to see people, who has passed years since their time in university to continue debating enthusiastically and supporting the community. I don’t know if I’d be able to do so but it would be great if I could continue debating even after I have graduated. I was also really happy to see some of my juniors chose to spend their weekend by tagging along to watch Founders’ Trophy, even when they are not obliged to do so. I hope this enthusiasm would stick to them throughout the years and help them develop as debaters. Participating in Founders’ Trophy had been a great experience and was definitely a superb way to end my debate season this year. I’ll definitely go there again next year!