By Rebecca Chmiel and Alejandro Ramos Lopez, current BSBA students
Debating has got a long tradition; it started already in the early 19th century in England. Universities like Oxford and Cambridge organized competitions where students ha
d to show their rhetoric skills. In the US debating competitions are as common as sports.
Recently, three Monegasque organizations, i.e. the Junior Economic Chamber of Monaco, the British Association of Monaco, and the Association of Young Monegasques started a debating tournament in English. The idea of a debate club is that a pair of contestants has to quickly think through a complex issue, either supporting or opposing it, structure their arguments and present them in front of an audience. One of the requirements is that the participants have to present their arguments in English, which is not their native language. While the counterparty is presenting their arguments, the other party has to listen actively to what they are saying so they can directly refute their arguments and present better ones in order to convince the audience. A good structured argumentation and rhetoric communication skills will decide between victory and defeat. Two competitions took place – for Monegasque schools and for organizations.
Three IUM teams were in the semi-finals for organisations: Tassilo Labuzinski and Patrick Buhmann, Marina Ivanova and Nicolas Bouzanne, and last, but not least, Sascha Kamenetsky and Eduard Aghajanyan. This year the semifinals and finals took place at the Princess Grace Theater, in front of the jury made up of the representatives from the three organizations. We were proud to see that Mr. Masseron, Conseiller de Gouvernement pour l’Intérieur, Mr. Valeri, Conseiller de Gouvernement pour les Affaires Sociales et la Santé, and Mme Bonnal, Ministre de l’Education Nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports were in the audience. Dr Patras, Dr Sargenti and Dr Rinaldi, and few other professors as well as students from the IUM were also there to support out teams.
All participants impressed the audience with their sophisticated and self-confident appearance on a huge stage, which can be very threatening even for professionals. During their speeches the atmosphere in the audience was passionate and excited. And then the long when jury debated who should be in the finals. Well, maybe not that long but it felt like it!
The schools competition was won by students from Lycee Albert I. Tassilo and Patrick got into the finals against a team, which included two employees from Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel, obviously older and more experienced, and certainly more confident. The topic was ‘Less is more’. When the announcer got it wrong and said ‘More is less’ all participants got a shock. This made the situation even more difficult for Tassilo and Patrick, who presented the motion, using famous theories, quoting authors, and presenting principles of sustainability.
Then another wait for results! In the end we were all very proud of Tassilo and Patrick, who convinced the audience with their well-structured, well presented and convincing arguments, which led them finally to win the debate!
Well done for our Teams and especially Tassilo and Patrick! It felt really appropriate to toast their victory with the champagne provided by the organizers.
We hope that next year the IUM will be represented by even more people!