Shreya Kollipara (Head Organiser) and Vinay Kanigicherla (Event Director) conducted Oakridge's first ever Debate Tournament: Dialogue!
The dialogue was an initiative in the form of a competition to interest students in debate and was conducted on the 6th of January, 2018 for all students from grades 9-11. The competition required participants to follow a Public Forum Debate structure and style, preparing them for debates on a whole new level.
The competition acted as a platform for heated debates about a variety of topics, ranging from the legality of government interference in private data and the practice of euthanasia to school segregation and the death penalty, and garnered significant student interest and participation.
Vinay and Shreya, being connoisseurs of the debate, created this event as a platform for debate different from today's mainstream Model United Nations Conferences and as an opportunity for students to represent their own views and ideas regarding a topic. Being the first event of its kind at Oakridge, students were able to experience something different from today's commonplace MUNs: pure, raw debate.
Dialogue fostered critical thinking, oratory skills and most importantly, team cooperation within all of its participants. The competition started with a set of 20 teams containing 2 to 3 members each wherein each of the teams would have three debates with three other random teams, getting points for their performances in each debate.
At the end of this phase, the four teams with the highest points were selected to participate in the semi-finals and finals, where the tournament proceeded in a regular knockout format, with the team winning the two rounds being the overall winner. The winner and two runner-ups of the tournament received prizes worth a total of 10,000 rupees.
Dialogue is the first of many more successful and larger-scale debate tournaments to come, and it will surely make a mark in Oakridge's history.