WUDC 2016 in Thessaloniki
The World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) is the largest international debating tournament. The first WUDC took place in Glasgow in 1981 in which only 43 teams from seven nations participated. This year, more than 440 teams from all continents compete for the title of World Debating Champion. The WUDC 2016 will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece. Two clubs cooperate to host the tournament: The Rhetoric Club of Thessaloniki, one of the oldest debating societies in Greece, and the Debating Society of Greece, a group of experienced Greek debate trainers and organisers that provides debate training to young people in universities. The tournament starts on December 27 and lasts until January 4.
Chief Adjudicator (CA) of the Greece Worlds will be Manos Moschopoulos.Manos has served as the Chief Adjudicator for a number of tournaments in Britain and Europe and has run debating projects in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He has judged the English as a Second Language (ESL) final of the European Universities Debating Championship (EUDC) in 2012 and the finals of the Cambridge, SOAS, and Paris IVs.As a debater, he won the Best ESL Speaker trophy at the WUDC, the ESL competition at London Australs and the Belgrade, Paris, Red Sea, Sciences Po and Warsaw Opens. He also spoke in the ESL finals of EUDC and the Cambridge IV.Deputy Chief Adjudicators (DCAs) are Arinah Najwa, Chris Bisset, John McKee, Josh Zoffer, Sarah Balakrishnan and Tasneem Elias. They will be supported by Charity Makhala and Maria Paula Garcia as Assistant CAs.
Vassilis Tsipopoulos is the Convener of the WUDC 2016. He is the most recent Greek national champion and has served on the organising committee of the Edinburgh University Debates Society for four years, including serving one term as treasurer and two years as the coordinator of the society’s training offerings. He was a finalist at the international Patras Open 2013, a quarterfinalist at Istanbul Open 2006 and the winner of five national debating competitions in Greece.Katerina Karadimitri is the Tournament Director of the WUDC 2016. She is the director of the Debating Society of Greece and recognized for organising debating tournaments within Greece.Other members of the Organising Committee include Themis Markidis, Finance Director, Barbara Savvidi, Media Director, Eleni Pouliou, Community Projects Director, Artemis Semenoglou, IT Director, Aspa Georgakopoulou, Logistics Director, and Louiza Moti, Registration Director.More information about the Organising Committee and its members can be found on the website of the Greece Worlds.
Tab Master of the WUDC 2016 will be Edwin “Clansman” Law, co-creator of the 3tab tabbing software and tab master at three previous Worlds. The reworked software of Tabbie will be used in order to tab the Worlds 2016. After being fireproofed at EUDC 2015, the Tab team and the IT team want to work closely together in order to ensure a smooth and easy experience for speakers and judges.
The preliminary rounds venue
The American Farm School is one of the largest educational institutions in Thessaloniki, starting with a kindergarten, and going all the way up to a College. It will be the venue for the three days of the preliminary rounds of the Championship.It is situated less than 30 minutes from the hotels with public transportation. Three announcement rooms will be used to ensure all participants have access to a comfortable venue. All debate rooms are within a maximum of seven minutes from any announcement room. The campus shop will be open throughout, so it will be possible to buy produce from the school’s farm, including juices, dairy products, snacks, and wine produced in their vineyards.
Greece is located in South-Eastern Europe, on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula, and lies at the meeting point of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. The climate is Mediterranean, and December and January see occasional snow, but even in Winter it is rarely very cold. Sea winds moderate Thessaloniki’s weather, ensuring that seasonal fluctuations in temperature are moderate. The Website of the Greece Worlds lists a few interesting places to visit in Thessaloniki itself.
Specials for the upcoming Worlds 2016
The Thessaloniki WUDC 2016 App will include push notifications, information on the schedule, the hotels, key venues and the city, and even a mini-translator with common Greekphrases. The app will be available to download before the tournament and is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows.
Asked what the OrgCom believed makes their Worlds so special, they enthusiastically replied with “the community projects.” There are a couple of things that the Community Projects team has been working on so far. They include:
- A cooperation with Shedia magazine, which is sold by homeless people in all Greek cities, as one of their media partners.
- Every clean portion of food that is left over will be distributed with the assistance of local NGOs to people in need.
- Partners like the No Project – a global educational campaign to increase awareness regarding human trafficking amongst young people – will have a presence in all key venues. From their booths, they’ll talk about their work, and increase awareness on issues that affect the local and broader community.
- Key NGO partners will be preparing art exhibitions and performances for the socials.
The Greece Worlds Website outlines details for the Adjudication policies.
The organisers and CAs state that:
- Sixty-nine of the world’s top adjudicators have already been selected to attend Thessaloniki as independent judges in the first two of three rounds of funding. So far we have allocated nearly 50,000 EUR in travel and registration subsidies to applicants from every continent of the debating planet.
- Our Adjudication Core has been working with top developers to bring Tabbie 2 to WUDC. This platform allows for e-ballots and judge feedback improving the efficiency of the tournament and the responsiveness of the tabulation process.
- We are also on track to deliver one of the most advanced algorithms ever written for debating to assist us in ensuring panels of adjudicators are allocated most effectively. This will allow unprecedented opportunities for development from rotating top judges through all rooms and ensuring that important diversity requirements can be met.
- Work is underway to further refine and deploy the excellent WUDC Debating and Judging Manuel created by the Malaysia Worlds Adjudication-Core. This will be distributed along with comprehensive briefing information for all adjudicators in advance of the tournament.
- We are also busy readying to announce our training and development workshops that will be run in the lead up to Thessaloniki 2016.
For further enquiries, people may contact the WUDC 2016 event page on Facebook. They usually respond within the hour with an answer. Resources for more information are the Greece Worlds Website and the Twitter account @WUDC2016.
- Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
- Date: Dec 27, 2015 – Jan 4, 2016
- Current number of teams: 448
- Accommodation: Most participants will be staying in the Capsis Hotel. In addition to this main hotel, the organisers also booked rooms in the Holiday Inn and the Hotel Vergina, which are right across the street from the Capsis Hotel.
- Debating Venue: The preliminary rounds will take place in the American Farm School which is approximately 30 min. by public transportation away from the hotels.
- Convener: Vassilis Tsipopoulos
- Chief Adjudicator: Manos Moschopoulos