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Belvedere triumphs in the Inter-House Debating Competition
With three preliminary rounds of such quality, it was with great anticipation and high expectations that the school gathered on Wednesday evening to watch Belvedere and Clairmont go head to head in the final of the 2018 Inter-House Debating Competition. A coin toss determined that the boys would propose, and the girls oppose, the fiendish motion, ‘This House would rather argue than agree’, and whilst it would be fair to say that there was significantly more argumentation than agreement throughout the debate, both teams acquitted themselves superbly, delivering thoroughly-researched and highly persuasive speeches, and fielding points of information and spontaneous interventions with grace and flair.
Belvedere’s Henri, Mitchell and Konstantinos tried to convince the assembled company that to argue was to reason, systematically and respectfully, and attempted to dispel the word ‘argument’ of its negative connotations through examples and humorous anecdotes; Kritee, Somphors and Anait from Clairmont took the view that consensus is key, and that civilisation is based on cooperation. A series of increasingly incisive floor speeches testified to how well the two teams had engaged with the audience, and left the final speakers with no shortage of points to rebut.
The judges doubtless began to feel some sympathy for the students when it became their turn to engage in a heated discussion, this time to determine the winning side. Nonetheless, after a lengthy period of deliberation, and in what the Head Master, the chair of the judging panel, described as an ‘extremely close’ final round, Belvedere were declared the champions. Healthy argument, it seems, lives on at Aiglon – and, after all, that is exactly what the Inter-House Debating Competition is about!
William Law, Master i/c Debating
Photos by Arseni (Delaware, Year 13)