The scene was set at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus as some of the brightest minds from over 20 Australian Universities arrived to test their wits in the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships this week.
They call it ‘Easters’ in the university debating world and the event runs from Wednesday to Friday, 3 – 5 April and is supported by the Gold Coast Student Guild.
With about 450 student competitors from 21 Universities it is a great opportunity for students from all fields of study to sharpen their cognitive skills under demanding circumstances.
The competition itself is spread across 55 rooms on the Gold Coast campus and involves a mad scramble as the opposing teams are assigned their topics and have only 30 minutes to rush around the campus finding a room and then prepare for three speeches of eight minutes duration using only the resources they have to hand.
Peter Coulson, Griffith student and co-convenor of the Griffith Easters 2013 was adamant the competition would be tough and the topics challenging.
“The topics are wide open and can involve current topical issues of economics, social, foreign, political and public policy, said Peter.
“Nothing is taboo. We leave it wide open, as it forces the competitors to critique everything about themselves and the world around them, so even the Easter bunny isn’t safe.”
The topics will be argued for and against in front of an adjudicator, by two university teams of four, as they battle their way through 6 rounds to make it to octo, quarters, semis and eventually the grand final. So the grand finalists will have competed in ten debates before take winning the top honour.
Australian Universities have won the ‘Worlds’, the World University Debating Championships for the past 4 years running, so there is no shortage of competitive spirit or talent in the teams that are about to challenge for the national title.
“The difference here at the ‘Easters’ as the Australian Championships is that each university is required to bring four members, including two novices, which is great for our future development, said Peter.
“It means that young firebrands can be discovered and get their chance to compete for a regular place in their university debating team and eventually have a go at the ‘Worlds’.
The grand final is open to the public and will be held on April 5 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Surfers Paradise.