Team finds every point debatable
by Benson Chao
THERE'S no debate about the New Year's resolution of the Chinese University English debating team: talking their way to the top at the 15th World Universities Debating Championship in Princeton, New Jersey.
The New Year's holiday will be spent on campus in an intensive training camp and then the six-member team will fly to New Jersey to confront challenges from students from universities all over the world.
The manager of the Chinese University's team, Alice Kwok Ah-see, said this year they have had to alter their debating strategy to cope with the new format.
'This year the tournament standard debate format has changed from British parliamentary debate to American parliamentary debate in which the two members of each debating team will take up the roles of prime minister and member.' This requires better exposition to put the point of view properly, the third-year government and public administration student said.
And she admitted the team faces a strong challenge. 'In addition to elaboration skills, foreign students are more creative than Hong Kong debaters and their thinking more versatile.' Nine preliminary rounds and subsequent elimination rounds will be incorporated preceding the Grand Final.
Individual debaters will be judged according to style, rhetoric, persuasive argument and analysis and effective refutation of opponents' arguments.
The debate team received about $10,000 from the university and $5,000 from the alumni association, but each member still has to pay about $10,000 for travel and accommodation.
As well as taking part in the debates the team will meet the Governor of New Jersey, see a Broadway show and visit Atlantic City and New York City.
After the world championship, which will end on January 8, the team will travel north to join the McGill Winter Carnival Tournament in Montreal, Canada.