Dear participant of the Vehbi Koc World Universities Debating Championship 2010,
We are writing with some important updates about Worlds. We'll try to keep the mail short.
1) Final details entered into the registration system: As of tomorrow, our registration system will effectively close. We will make our plans according to the information that has been filled in by you or your delegation leader. This means that if you have not filled in dietary requirements, room preferences, whether you are EFL or ESL, travel details etc we cannot do anything about it. For example, we are signing our final transportation contract on Saturday - if your name is not on the list, there won't be a seat for you from the airport or coach station. If you believe information is still missing, please go to registration.kocworlds2010.com and tell us what is missing. If you have technical difficulties, please contact Hasan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Thursday was the last day you could pull out of Worlds and got your refundable registration fee refunded: We signed our final service level agreement with the hotel on Thursday. This means that we have transferred them money . If you pull out from this moment, we cannot give you your money back because we have spent it. We appreciate that your cancellation could be due to an act of God but from this moment, we won't be able to show flexibility regarding your fees because we won't have them anymore.
3) Judging test: After some technical trouble, the Adjudication Team has prepared the test and will be able to put it online at the weekend. Adjudicators will have all of next week up to Friday to watch the debate and then respond to 12 questions about the test and about themselves. Please try to set aside an hour and a half at some point next week to do this. The adjudication team will e-mail all adjudicators with further instructions at the weekend.
4) What should you pack: First off, whilst we hope it won't rain or be slightly cold, there is a chance that we get unlucky. Right now in Antalya it is 20 degrees celsius (70 fahrenheit for our American friends) but this is interspersed with occasional rain. Basically, you should pack at least some warm and rain-repellent clothing. If you have black tie, beautiful gowns or national dress, there will be ample opportunity to show this off - do bring. The theme for the final night party will be white so also try to bring something that is white. Otherwise, smart, casual, hobo, whatever it is that you normally wear, will suffice. There are swimming pools and of course the Mediterranean sea 20 paces or so from your room so feel free to bring swimwear. Do note, however, that swimming in the sea at night while drunk will not be tolerated - if you get swept away, we won't know until your body washes ashore in North Africa. This is really not something with which we want to deal,nor we imagine is it something that your loved ones or indeed you would want as a start to 2010.
5) Global village: At Koc, we have always hosted a global village party. This year it will be on the 29th December 2009. You should bring along your local beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), foodstuffs (subject to suitable laws - please check with your customs), flags and national dress if possible. There are going to be around 60 nationalities represented at Worlds so this should be a good night. Global village will also be an opportunity to see what Botswana have planned for 2011 as we will hand the party to them in the course of the evening.
6) Visas: We really hope you've sorted these out by now. Most people just have to pay a small amount of money on entering the country. When you arrive in Turkey, don't go straight to customs if you are one of these people. Go to the place which sells visas (which is in the same area as customs) and then proceed to the customs desks. This will save you queuing up fruitlessly. If you need an actual visa and are still having difficulties, please let Cem Hot know at email@example.com.
7) Socials: We will release the final schedule of the tournament with details about the socials at the end of this week. We won't write a separate e-mail about this because we want to keep e-mail contact for the really important stuff. However, we would like you to have a look so check our website at the end of the week. We will also send details out from our Facebook group - please do join, it's called Vehbi Koc World Universities Debating Championship. One thing to note is about alcohol consumption - as we promised, we have arranged free alcohol from 10 in the morning to 2am or 4am the next day depending on which social it is. There will be three days on which this won't be the case (the 29th, 30th and 31st December) when alcohol will not be served before the end of the second round of each day. We hope you understand why we have taken this decision and hope that noone will harrass hotel staff for alcohol before the allowed time. The alcohol available for free will be localbrands (including but not limited to beer, wine, vodka and gin) but should you have more expensive tastes, you can purchase foreign brands at the bars. Those of you that don't drink alcohol will be able to get free soft drinks at all times.
We hope you are having a relaxing couple of weeks before you join us on the 27th December (or earlier). Try to chill now after a long term because we're going to tire you out all over again very soon. Hopefully, this won't be because we've made the tab explode but instead because our motions have exercised your brains and our socials have then blown your mind.
Just to give you an early hint: the New Year's Eve Party and Break Night will be held in a transparent tent next to the beach. It will be a full moon that night (the first full moon on New Year's Eve since 1990 and the last until 2028) and should the weather hold up, you will be able to leave the tent for a chat/cigarette and sit on a cushion on the beach next to a fire, watching the moonlight dance on the Mediterranean. Even if the weather doesn't play fair, you'll be in a big tent where you can see everything outside. Get ready....
See you soon. Get in touch if you have any queries - if they are specific to travel, diet, rooms etc do check on our website who the relevant contact is.
Fatih Mehmet Inal
Co-Convenor, The Vehbi Koc World Universities Debating Championship 2010