Chennai Worlds 2014: First impressions of the WUDC

Datum: Dec 30th, 2013
Category: International, Turniere

From the 26th of December 2013 until the 4th of January 2014, the biggest and most important international tournament of the year, the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC), takes place in Chennai, India. After participants of all over the world arrived in the Indian megacity on the 26th and 27th of December, the tournament officially began on the 28th with the Grand Opening. On the 29th, the first three preliminary rounds took place – time to present a first summary and portray some impressions.


Most of the participants are accommodated in 2- to 3-bed rooms in the five-star hotels of the Taj-Group, the Coromandel, the Connemara and the Club House. As one would expect from a five-star hotel, there is a pool, a gym and a sauna included – conviniences which could not be enjoyed by the participants who arrived comparably late. A relevant amount of participants suffered from a communication problem between the OrgCom and the Hotels: They had to wait several hours to be informed about the fact that the hotels have been overbooked and that they had to move temporarily into the hotel Gateway. After their luggage was brought to one of the hotels mentioned above on the next day, the OrgCom announced via Facebook that the affected participants have to move into another hotel again, the Raintree. It’s comprehensible that this led to disturbances and concerns which were also brought up and discussed during pre-council.


One part of the CA-Team of WUDC 2014: Michael Shapira, Harish Natarajan and Ely Zosa. © Henrik Maedler // Chennai WUDC 2014

Masters’ Cup

The WUDC’s Masters’ Cup is a little debating competition which traditionally takes place during Worlds and invites experienced trainers and judges to speak for one nation of their choice. On the 28th of December, the first two rounds took place. The CAs, Maja Cimerman and Bryan Gunawan, decided to debate the motions “The feminist movement should actively fight to liberate men from their prescribed gender roles” and “This House would redraw the borders of Africa”.

Security issues

Both in the printed information the initial and welcoming speech of the OrgCom, advice on security and safety issues played an essential role: Female participants should dress conservatively, the participants should only move in groups outside of the campus and the hotels, the importance of seatbelts was pointed out and for smoking in public, one apparently risks to go to jail. The audience reacted to these announcements with mixed feelings: Of course we all know and understand the necessity to create a certain sensibility to not endanger participants and to prepare them for certain situations, but eventually it was a little bit exaggerated – an Indian participant stood up and criticised publically the pessimistic picture which was painted of his country, telling the audience about the welcoming and friendly atmosphere and culture.


The governor ot Tamil Nadu gives a speech to welcome the participants. © Matthias Carcasona // Chennai WUDC 2014

Preliminary rounds 1 to 3

On the 29th December, the first three preliminary rounds took place.

Motion R1: This House believes that the United States of America should fund moderate Madrassas (schools of Islamic study) troughout the Islamic world.

Motion R2: This House would allow first-time offenders to, with the consent of their victims, pay compensation to them in place of a prison sentence.

Motion R3: This House regrets the rise of a ‘hookup culture’.

Motion R4: This House believes that Developing Countries should ban members of political dynasties from standing for elected office.

Motion R5: This House believes that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is in the interests of the small and medium-sized negotiating countries.

Twitterer and debater Brad Burns is collecting the results in a document, which is free for editing.

Information and Updates

The OrgCom is delivering important and interesting information and facts about the tournament on different channels:




Overview of team, motions and break

Fotos of the 28th December

On Twitter, you can get the latest updates under the official hashtag #WUDC. The Achte Minute is trying to keep reporting as well, despite the sometimes complicated internet accessibility.


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