UTown Intercollegiate Provost Challenge Shield Round 3 Recap

While it seemed from Round 2 that Tembusu might not be represented in Round 3 of the UTown Intercollegiate Provost Challenge Shield, due to a twist of fate, The Democratic People’s Republic of Tembusu were called upon on 11 Feb to challenge Yale-NUS and offer some hope to prevent an all Yale-NUS finals.

Of upholding a legacy

It is in the form of tournaments where stories are told and legends are made. Early rounds see plot lines grow, favourites assert strength, and clashes of wit and tactics; it is in the face of elimination, where some stories have to end, be it the tale of the underdog’s struggle or the struggle of the old champion for relevancy in the evolving competitive landscape.

Bursting onto the UTown debate scene, the teams representing Yale-NUS had an enigmatic cloud of expectations coming into the tournament. They had previously seen a mixed performance from their A team dropping their first round to the Democratic People’s Republic of Tembusu in a close exchange and picking up a victory against the swing team in the second round. Luck had smiled in favour of their B team as they went 2-0 after being paired up against the weaker teams coming into the tournament. Coming into the third and final round, the possibility of an all Yale-NUS final was very real.

Breaking the bubble

As such, the results of many of the matches in the final round often yield little impact on the final results, serving to be a stage for teams to round up their story or end their quest on a high note before the finale itself. However, for the teams in contention for the slot in the finals, the pressure could not be any higher.

With team Na’Vi not having any chance of making the finals and the USP team being unable to attend the finals, The Democratic People’s Republic of Tembusu were the sole remaining team capable of preventing an all Yale-NUS final, and they sat precariously on a 1-1 record, going up in a rematch against the A team of Yale-NUS. A win at this point for either team in this matchup would confirm their berth into the finals.

Rondo alla Turca

The first time the two teams faced up against each other, the scoreline was close, debating over the motion of the creation of gender quotas in university courses. While the Democratic People’s Republic of Tembusu may have came out victorious in their previous encounter, Yale NUS’ team A were back with a vengeance.

The motion: This house believes that state welfare should only subsidize families up to a certain size. On side proposition, Yale-NUS-A, and on side opposition, the Democratic People’s republic of Tembusu.

With the theme of the motion being family, economic principles and moral high grounds were staked out as both teams postured and wove their words into strong cases for both sides. The policy set by Nic of the Yale-NUS team was strong, but was met vigorous questioning from side opposition as Dae Yeon from the Democratic People’s Republic of Tembusu embellished his side’s arguments and justifications with examples.

As the second speakers stepped up to the plate, rebuttals to each side’s proposed arguments were fired off as both teams clashed with each other’s claims to be the more moral and feasible solution to the problems earlier proposed. It was close, but at this point the judges seemed to have an inclination towards the argument brought forward by the Democratic People’s Republic of Tembusu.

Usually in debates the third speaker is known as the swing speaker due to their ability to sway the decision of the judges in the favour of a certain team. Joan of Yale-NUS A did just that, coming forward and pointing out concessions the Democratic People’s Republic of Tembusu had made in their earlier arguments and how that meant that their own case would prove to be stronger. Clinical analysis of the debates proceedings coupled with sharp rebuttals to the arguments presented earlier had sealed the deal for the Yale-NUS team, as Joan earned the best speaker award for this all important match, creating an all Yale-NUS finals.