Last year, the Asian Universities Debating Union (AUDU) passed a resolution inviting ALL Asian institutions to come to AUDC in the name of Asian Unity. In that same tournament, participants from institutions traditionally allied with the All Asians received adjudication subsidy, and broke fair and square as adjudicators and debaters. The request of All Asian representatives to be heard was also granted--with copies of the proposed Asian Debate Federation constitution being given to all union reps in advance, for their deliberation.
Last year, both sides tried their best and yet failed to reach a compromise. This year, the possibility of a unified Asian Debate Community looks a lot more promising, thanks to reasonable and clear-cut requests from both sides.
At Cork Worlds, AUDC Exco members sat down with All Asian representatives (from MMU, UiTM, Chula, NLSIU and other institutions) to discuss the prospect of unifying the Asian Debate Community. In that meeting, All Asian delegates had expressed certain requests--which the AUDC Exco, upon consultation, has agreed to in the name of Asian Unity.
The requests, granted by the AUDC Exco in the name of Asian Unity, are as follows:
1. A SEPARATE union meeting/forum on Asian Unity, to be held at EWU AUDC. This will ensure enough time for discussions on important issues such as a possible change in tournament name--an important request of All Asian Delegates.
2. A DCA representative of AUT/All Asians to EWU AUDC. - To achieve this end in accordance with the AUDC Constitution, Luang P (DCA, Thailand) is graciously willing to relinquish his spot in the adj core for an AUT/All Asians DCA. This will satisfy the constitutional limit of 5 members for the adjudication core.
The AUDC Exco guarantees that the DCA representative is solely the choice of AUT/All Asian delegates and that no AUDC candidate will be nominated in Luang P's stead. Constitutional requirements will apply to AUT/All Asian candidates for DCA though. These eligibility requirements include (a) main break as an adjudicator/ debater in AUDC, Australs or WUDC at least once in their career, (b) active participation as a debater/adjudicator in AUDC, Australs or WUDC in the last two years, and (c) representing a country other than Bangladesh, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia--all of which are already represented in the adjudication core. Upon nomination, the chosen AUT/All Asians candidate will be ratified by AUDC union members through an online vote. These reasonable requirements ensures both competence and representation, resulting in a fairer and better tournament for all.
These things are conditional on AUT/All Asian Delegates granting our requests: which is to respect and honor AUDC's core principles and to make EWU AUDC *the* unifying tournament of Asia. After all, if our goal is unity, it makes no sense to prolong the split further by making universities choose between two well-organized tournaments.
Last year, the AUDC Union passed a resolution stating our commitment to Asian Unity and inviting ALL Asian institutions to come join us at EWU AUDC and help make the tournament better. Last year, we proved our commitment to Asian Unity by welcoming participants from All Asians with open arms, even extending adjudication subsidy to deserving All Asian candidates.
This year, we are taking it a step further-- by offering not only a forum, not only the possibility of a change in tournament name, but also a DCA slot--made possible only through Luang P's noble sacrifice.
Now it is your turn to prove your commitment to Asian Unity. Join us at EWU AUDC and cancel AUT. A single Asian tournament is the only path to a unified Asia.
Friends, we keep on reminiscing about the good old days when the Asian Debating Community wasunited--now, we are being given the rare opportunityto be the generation that succeeds in making it happen. Let's not waste this chance--it may be our only opportunity to make things right.
Once again, wishing everyone a happy new year and hoping to see each and every one of you at EWU AUDC 2009.
Estelle Ople Osorio
Asian Universities Debating Union
I initially did not want to involve myself in discussions regarding reunification. As I am no longer a member of the AUDC execo, I didn't want to be perceived as intervening in its affairs. However, I feel a few things must be said regarding the way the issue of unity has been approached. As a former Chair of the AUDC union and as someone who saw the split happen, I feel a deep loyalty to the principles of AUDC. Still, I can't help but feel that, at times, loyalty has been equated with closed-mindedness.
In the spirit of negotiation and compromise, nobody should try to cling to certain fixed positions. Both sides will be disappointed to a certain extent; nobody gets everything they want in a negotiation. Being stubborn and passing off this stubbornness as "sticking to one's principles" is what fundamentalists do. Most of those involved in the negotiations understand this and, based on what I've heard, that's why the talks in Cork got us somewhere.
Unfortunately, statements like Estelle's do nothing to strengthen the cause of unity. I was most concerned about the following lines:
- "Last year, we proved ourcommitment to Asian Unity by welcoming participantsfrom All Asians with open arms, even extendingadjudication subsidy to deserving All Asiancandidates. This year, we are taking it a stepfurther-- by offering not only a forum, not only thepossibility of a change in tournament name, but also aDCA slot--made possible only through Luang P's noblesacrifice.
Now it is your turn to prove your commitment to AsianUnity. Join us at EWU AUDC and cancel AUT. A singleAsian tournament is the only path to a unified Asia. "
Having said that, I do agree with Estelle that it is infeasible for many AUDC institutions to attend the AUT. I'm sure people understand the costs involved. In light of this, I appeal to my friends from All Asians to consider making the Bangladesh tournament the unity tournament (I have intentionally refrained from calling it the next AUDC). I am certain that negotiations can produce an arrangement that is acceptable to all. We can make this happen.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again.
Former AUDC Chair