Tuesday, November 27, 2007

IDAS 2007 Trainers Debate - Apologize for Colonialism

1st Proposition:
Alfred Snider, Director, World Debate Institute, University of Vermont, USA
Rhydian Morgan, Consultant, GRM Communications, UK
1st Opposition:
Neill Harvey-Smith, Consultant, Debate Chambers, UK
Branka Marusic, President, European Universities Debate Council, Croatia
2nd Proposition:
Sam Nelson, Cornell University, USA
Jens Fischer, Berlin Debating Union, Germany
2nd Opposition:
Loke Wing Fatt, S.A.I.D., Singapore
Uve Poom, Current Euros EFL Champion, Estonia

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Final Results of Internaional Debate Academy 2007

Tournament champs with UK's Rhydian Morgan in the middle: Filip Dobranic and Maja Cimerman

19 countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, UK, Germany, Rumania, Mongolia, Taiwan, India, USA, Serbia, Ukraine, Estonia, Canada, Singapore, Bosnia & Herzgovina, Russia, Slovenia, and Venezuela.
32 teams.
16 adjudicators.

Here are the results:

Semifinal Round

The motion is:
This House believes that women should get an equal position in war with men.

Hall A
1Gov Ceranic & Jankovic-Romano Serbia ADVANCE
1Opp Kerr & Belak Slovenia
2Gov Plostajner & Jakovac Slovenia ADVANCE
2Opp Gabric & Vlacic Slovenia
Judges: Branka Marusic (chair), Neill Harvey-Smith, Loke Wing Fatt, Steve Llano, Jens Fischer

Hall B

1Gov Kunej & Kranjc Slovenia
1Opp Dobranic & Cimerman Slovenia ADVANCE
2Gov Bellwood & Culy USA ADVANCE
2Opp Tertnik & Jenko Slovenia
Judges: Isabel Loewe (chair), Rhydian Morgan, Sam Nelson, Simon Grabrovec, Uve Poom

Final Round

This House believes that financial support from the state should be sufficient to live on without requiring work.

1Gov Bellwood & Culy USA
1Opp Dobranic & Cimerman Slovenia
2Gov Plostajner & Jakovac Slovenia
2Opp Ceranic & Jankovic-Romano Serbia

WINNER: Maja Cimerman & Filip Dobranic Slovenia

TOP SPEAKER: Anna Mojca England Kerr Slovenia

2 Spela Kranjc Slovenia
3 Simon Belak Slovenia
3 Spela Kunej Slovenia
5 Filip Dobranic Slovenia
6 Maja Cimerman Slovenia
7 Igor Jakovac Slovenia
8 Alia Bellwood USA
8 Edita Gabric Slovenia
10 Alexandra Neacsu Romania

Find it at http://debate.uvm.edu/dcpdf/IDAS2007FullTab.xls


Thanks to European Union program "All Equal, All Different" for the support of the equal opportunities motions during the tournament.

1. This House believes that all universities should have an equal opportunities officer.
2. This House believes the state should provide free education in the languages of ethnic minorities.
3. This House believes that the state should pay for trans-gender surgeries.
4. That this House would remove the right to refuse life-saving medical treatment.
5. This House would take a hard line against Iran.
6. This House believes that romantic relationships between university instructors and their students should be illegal.

This house believes that women should get an equal position in war with men.

This House believes that financial support from the state should be sufficient to live on without requiring work.

Stand by for an announcement of next year's International Debate Academy.

President-elect and Mayor Meet Debaters at International Debate Academy

Photo: Dr. Danilo Turk, President-elect of Slovenia, with students

When the International Debate Academy left its instructional home in the little town of Ormoz and made its way to Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, it got the recognition of some of the most prominent politicians in the country.

Dr. Danilo Turk, President-elect of Slovenia, addressed the debaters and judges at the opening ceremonies. Dr. Turk won an overwhelming mandate for President. He served for years as Kofi Anan's assistant at the UN in New York. He cautioned the debaters to understand the audience and not just the opponents in the debate and to recognize, in debating about equal opportunities, the distinction between discrimination and rational difference. He also answered several questions from the debaters, including how to respond to lies spread against you in politics.

Photo: Zoran Jankovic with tournament top speaker, Anna Mojca England Kerr.

Zoran Jankovic is the newly elected mayor of Ljubljana. He encouraged the debaters about visiting Ljubljana and indicated future cooperation with ZIP. ZIP will be co-sponsoring a conference in April to take place in Ljubljana. For more information, see http://debate.uvm.edu/betterworld.htm

Both politicians recognized the importance of debate in Slovenia, with Dr. Turk indicating he had been following it for several years.

Elimination Debates at International Debate Academy

Photo: Vesna, Tuna, Mario, Milan

The semifinals have just begun at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana.

The motion is:

This House believes that women should get an equal position in war with men.

Hall A
1Gov Ceranic & Jankovic-Romano
1Opp Kerr & Belak
2Gov Plostajner & Jakovac
2Opp Gabric & Vlacic
Judges: Branka Marusic (chair), Neill Harvey-Smith, Loke Wing Fatt, Steve Llano, Jens Fischer

Hall B

1Gov Kunej & Kranjc
1Opp Dobranic & Cimerman
2Gov Bellwood & Culy
2Opp Tertnik & Jenko
Judges: Isabel Loewe (chair), Rhydian Morgan, Sam Nelson, Simon Grabrovec, Uve Poom

Results to come soon.

International Debate Academy Tournament Slovenia Tab Now Available

Photo: Neill Harvey-Smith judging

The semifinals take place this morning, but the tab is now up and available. My thanks to Jens Fischer for his assistance.

Find it at http://debate.uvm.edu/dcpdf/IDAS2007FullTab.xls

Full results coming soon.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Academy Concludes and Moves on to Ljubljana for the Tournament

In the small town of Ormoz, Slovenia, there were a lot of different languages being spoken as people from seventeen different nations gathered to focus on Worlds/BP format debating for six days, from 17-22 November 2007.

The program is sponsored by Z.I.P. (Za in Proti, Institute for Culture of Dialogue, the Slovenian national debate program) and the World Debate Institute (University of Vermont USA) and is now in its fifth year.

People attended who are citizens of: Slovenia, USA, UK, Germany, Singapore, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Ukraine, Estonia, Russia, Bosnia, Taiwan, Canada, India and Mongolia.

The program had a number of illustrious faculty members, including:

  • Loke Wing Fatt, SAID Singapore and WUDC breaking judge.
  • Jens Fischer, Germany, Chief Adjudicator at Euros.

  • Neill Harvey-Smith, WUDC finalist and Chief Adjudicator for Euros
    2008, now with Debate Chambers, United Kingdom.

  • Steve Llano, USA national champion coach, St. Johns University, USA.

  • Branka Marusic, President of European Universities Debating Council, Croatia.

  • Rhydian Morgan, Chief Adjudicator at numerous UK tournaments, now with GRM Communications, United Kingdom.

  • Sam Nelson, USA national champion coach, Cornell University, USA.

  • Uve Poom, Europeans EFL Champion and Euros 2008 organizer.

  • Bojana Skrt, World Schools EFL Champion coach twice, Slovenia.

  • Alfred Snider, USA national champion coach, Director of World Debate Institute, University of Vermont, USA.

With sixty people occupying the Hotel Ormoz, the days were full of learning activities. Each day included a morning lecture, a drill and exercise session, and then a full critiqued debate. Afternoons consisted of two slates of elective classes (where students can pick from 4-5 different subjects to attend), followed by another full critiqued debate. Evenings were free, but included a number of social events, such as the country exhibition and the kitsch party.

The following are some of the elective topics:

  • Intl relations 1

  • Intl relations 2

  • Economics for idiots

  • Debating about rights


  • Research methods

  • Humor

  • Rebutting

  • Motion analysis


  • Motion interpretation

  • Case division

  • Counter proposals


  • Style vs. substance

  • Identifying clash

  • Newman hierarchy

  • Principles of criminal justice

  • Zen debating - knifing without the knife

  • Derivation of rights


  • Economics with NHS, aka how to win debates on economics against economists, by an economics grad.

  • Politics with NHS, aka how to win debates on political theory against politics students, by a politics postgrad.

  • Philosophy with NHS, aka how to beat utilitarians in debate, by a philosophy postgrad.

  • Law with NHS, aka how to beat lawyers in debates about law, by a man who hates lawyers.

  • Extensions; how to speak brilliantly as the third speaker in British Parliamentary debates.


  • Note-taking before and during the debate

  • Your 15 minutes prep and how to use it

  • Mine is bigger than yours, comparing arguments


  • Samurai debate

  • Classical rhetorical theory

  • Advanced opposition strategy


  • Strategy: How do we debate when we do not have a clue about the topic? What do we do when the first government comes out with a really bad case? ….


  • Tricks are for Kids. The role of the trickster in argumentation and its implications for current debate practice.

  • Public speaking like you mean it! How to be a persuasive speaker

  • Make love not war. Rejecting the warrior narrative in debate and replacing it with a more functional mindset: Debater as lover!

  • Games people play. Debate games that teach you how to hone your debate skills.

    Separate coaching electives were held, including:

  • Experiential learning - Poom

  • Drills and games to teach debate - Fatt

  • Adjudication - Harvey-Smith

  • Training program model - Snider

  • Team based research strategy - Llano

  • Running university debate club: keep them coming, keep them staying, keep them motivated. Skrt

  • Fundraising for the university debate club. Skrt

  • Organising debate tournament. Skrt

  • Organising public debate. Skrt

One other event of note was the show debate that was staged by the faculty. Steve Llano and Bojana Skrt chaired a debate on the motion; this House would apologize for colonialism. The first government team was Alfred Snider and Rhydian Morgan, the second government team was Jens Fischer and Sam Nelson, the first opposition team was Neill Harvey-Smith and Branka Marusic, and the second opposition team was Loke Wing Fatt and Uve Poom. The debate was a spirited affair, but was fairly serious (unlike many show debates) and tried to provide real examples to the student audience. The video will be posted online very soon. No decision was announced and the students kept talking about their individual decisions late into the night.

With sponsorship grants to debate motions on the issue of equal opportunities, many of the motions shared this these. Motions for the practice debates included:

  • This House would bring George W. Bush to trial for war crimes.

  • This House believes in cultural and racial assimilation.

  • This house would support an independent state for the Kurdish people.

  • This House supports affirmative action to solve for the effects of discrimination.

  • This House would grant immunity to dictators who step down voluntarily.

  • This House believes that there should be no religious holidays recognised as national holidays.

  • This House believes the criminalisation of hate speech is a bad idea.

  • This House believes all public bathrooms should be unisex.

    On Friday morning everyone boarded a bus for Ljubljana where they were housed in a dormitory and a tournament is now going on at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Administration and the Faculty of Economics.

    More on the tournament in a separate post.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Preparation Letter to Attendees

I am really glad you decided to participate at IDAS 2007 and I am sure together we will create a great event. I would also kindly ask everybody who registered in case something goes wrong and you can not participate, you let as know as soon as possible, because we do need to inform the venues about the final number. There are a little more than 70 participants from 17 countries, 4 continents comfirmed their participation for the whole Academy and there are around 15 debaters coming only for the tournament.

Here are some more details about the Academy, more details you can find at: http://debate.uvm.edu/idas2007.html, which I do recommend you check on regular basis till the beginning of the Academy.

Topic area: majority of the topics will be from the field of equal opportunities. You can find the list of topics and some research material on the IDAS web page.

- From 17th – 23rd morning, Hotel Ormož, Vrazov trg 35 – it is the center of Ormož, 5 minutes walk from the train station. You can not get lost, Ormož is a small town.
- From 23rd 12.00 (registration) to Sunday 25th, Dijaški dom Bežigrad, Kardeljeva ploščad 28, Ljubljana. Please, go to http://www.ljubljana-tourism.si/ to find the map and the direction to come to the dorm.

Beginning of the Academy: The full calendar of Academy in Ormož and tournament in Ljubljana is available on the web page. Here I would just like to stress that the Academy starts on Saturday, the 17th at 17.00, so you are expected to come before that.

On Friday morning, the 23rd we will go to Ljubljana (the transport will be arrange by us), where the tournament will start at 14.00. The final debate will be at 12.00 on Sunday, the 25th November, the guest speaker being a mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Jankovič.

Participation fee: You are expected to pay the participation fee upon arrival in cash. You will get the official comfirmation of the payment. Here are the things which are covered by your participation fee, trainers voluntary work and other trainer in kind countribution, like their travel expences, ZIP and sponsorship from Office for youth and the action All equal – all different.

- Full board in Ormož, starting on the 17th with dinner and finishing on the 23rd with lunch; in Ljubljana starting with dinner on the 23rd, finishing on Sunday, the 25th with breakfast. In case you are staying extra nights in Ljubljana or coming earlier in Ormož, you need to pay directly to the hotel, however you do need to inform us about it.

- Transportation from Ormož to Ljubljana.

- Lectures, material, organisation.

All the other expences are yours, from extra nights, extra meals, transportation and everything else.

Social: There will be a country exhibition organised on Sunday evening. This is an event in which all of you need to participate: bring food, sweets, drinks, gifts, souvenirs, information about you country, music, dances you put it in display and you share all of these with all the participants. We are having participants from 17 countries, so we can expect a really great country exhibition.

Dress code: We are very informal, however, you can be if you want to, dress how you feel. Have in mind we are arranging the reception in Ormož mayor castle and that at the tournament finals there will be Ljubljana mayor coming.

Transport to Ormož: We are not organising pick ups and we do not organise the transport from Ljubljana to Ormož, this is up to you. Here is the list of trains for Ormož from Ljubljana and the information about the transportation from the airport to Ljubljana. Ljubljana train and bus station are together.


Ljubljana 7.40 Ormož 10.25
Ljubljana 12.50 – Pragersko 15.08 arrival/departure 15.10 – Ormož 15.41
Ljubljana 17.25 – Pragersko 19.29 arrival/departure 19. 44 – Ormož 20.15

For the ones who are coming from Zagreb and Belgrade, change the train in Zidani most – you do not need to go to Ljubljana.

The train ticket one way from Ljubljana to Ormož is between 9 and 10 EUR.


There are two different bus companies transporting from the airport to Ljubljana bus and railway station (they are together). It takes 30 to 45 minutes, costs 4,5 EUR.

7.00 10.00 12.00 14.00 16.00 18.00 20.00
5:45 6:40 10:55 12:40 14:30 16:00 17:30 18:25 22:55 00:00

Sintija Dobrotinšek, + 386 (0) 31 658 971
Bojana Skrt, + 386 (0) 41 423377

Looking forwad seeing you in Slovenia,

Bojana & Sintija

Friday, November 2, 2007

Equal Opportunity Motions

Since we have received substantial funding to discuss and debate equal opportunities as an issue, some of our motions will come from this category. As in the past, we are releasing a list of motions for your inspection. Not all of these motions will be used in the practice debates and the tournament.

TH believes positive discrimination is the best way to achieve equal opportunities.
TH supports that affirmative action to remedy the effects of discrimination is justified.
TH believes that racial equality is an impossible ideal.
TH believes the criminalisation of hate speech is a bad idea.
TH believes the state should pay for the education in the ethnic minorities languages.
TH supports a special seat for Roma in the European Parliament.
TH supports that ethnic minorities should have special seats in national parliaments.
TH believes in cultural and racial assimilation.
This house believes that homosexuals make good parents.
This house would permit Gay couples to adopt.
This house would put women in the military front line
This house believes that women should get an equal position in war with men
This house would positively discriminate in favor of women in the highest managment positions.
This house would positively discriminate women in the government.
This house believes:
That family and feminism are incompatible.
That we will only be post-feminist when we are in post-patriarchy.
That housewives should be paid for their work.
That feminism should give way to multiculturalism.
That feminism is corrupting the family.
That reproductive technologies are anti-women.
That media potrayal of women brings more harm than good.
That society is well – served by the maintenance of a separate culture for the deaf.
That individualts with disabilities ought to be afforded the same opportunities as able – bodied athletes.
That Mentally Handicapped People Are Better Cared For In The Community Than In Institutions.
That Elderly People Are Better Cared For In The Community Than In Institutions
That Mentally Handicapped People should be their own advocates.
That the state should be responsible for providing religious groups the venues for practising their religion.
That there should be no religious holiday recognised as a national holiday.
That all religious symbols should be banned from schools.
That sexual harassment on the working place should be punished more severly.
That state should pay for transgender surgeries.
All public bathrooms should be unisex.
Universities should have an ombudsman to investigate claims of sexual harassment of students by faculty.
Romantic relationships between professors and their students are unacceptable.