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July 29, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Performance Not Up for Debate

Victoria’s Debating Society has lived up to its reputation as New Zealand’s most successful tertiary debating team, placing second at the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (Australs) last Sunday week.

Australs were held from 14 to 22 July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a total of 124 teams competing.

The sole Victoria team of Asher Emanuel, Jodie O’Neill and Nick Cross made it through eight preliminary rounds of debating before breaking as the second-highest-ranked team in the tournament. They won their octo-, quarter- and semi-finals to make it into the 2013 Australs Grand Final, where they argued that women should be criminally liable for harm to foetuses as a result of their lifestyle choices, against University of Sydney 2. They were defeated in a 5–2 split judging decision.

Out of the 372 speakers, Emanuel was named the second-best speaker of the tournament. Cross ranked 16th, and O’Neill 25th. Victoria has historically had strong showings at Australs, having made it at least as far as the semi-finals for the past five years. Victoria last won Australs in 2011.

2013 has been a strong year for Vic Debsoc, having fielded teams that have won Thropy, the North Island university novice debating tournament, as well as Easters, the New Zealand Impromptu Debating Championships tournament. Victoria has won Easters for the past 15 years running.

Debsoc Vice-President Olivia Hall said it had been “an amazing year for Debsoc”.

“[The team] were runners-up in a competition of 124 teams and have made Vic Debsoc incredibly proud.”

Auckland sent five teams, but their top-ranking team bowed out in the octo-finals. Otago sent four teams, while Canterbury sent none.

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