The British parliamentary debate model is one of the formats that provides the most space to its participants for discursive exchange. Since 2013, the Law School and the Universidad del Pacífico Debate Circle (CIDEUP) have organized "Debate UP", an inter-university competition that uses this argumentation technique.
“As Law School, we are very proud to organize a new edition of "Debate UP". This year the tournament has grown a lot. We have managed to have about 200 participants, not only from debating societies from different parts of Peru but also from teams from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela”, said Professor Carlos J. Zelada, Associate dean of the Law School and general coordinator of the competition.
The sixth edition of "Debate UP" awarded first place to the team from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos: "Los Panetoneros de San Marcos". The team, composed of Jorge Bullón and Rose Vento, showed an outstanding ability to argue and a lot of creativity to respond to their opponents. "Jorge has a long background as a debater and coach. He is currently the CIDEUP coach and without a doubt he has a great capacity to teach and the desire to continue learning. On the other hand, Rose has already been national runner-up, and being UP Debate champion now is a recognition of her great commitment," said Ruth Nieto, CIDEUP captain and tournament director.
A virtual edition
Unlike previous years, in which meetings between teams were held face-to-face, this was the first Virtual Edition of "Debate UP". However, despite the confinement and the health crisis affecting the normal rhythm of educational events in the country, Debate UP fulfilled its main objectives: to generate awareness of the importance of dialogue and respect through competitive debate, and to promote cultural integration by serving as a meeting point for university students from Peru and the world.
Virtuality brought certain advantages such as the possibility of expanding the national and international scope of "Debate UP" and generating greater visibility about the tournament. "This experience has given us great lessons at the logistical level and has highlighted the importance of communication through social networks to achieve greater international reach. It has also allowed CIDEUP members to participate directly and develop their leadership skills," explains Ruth Nieto.
The importance of debate
For Professor Carlos J. Zelada, university students are preparing to lead human groups in the future and make decisions that will have an impact on the country, which is why he considers it essential that they are capable of having their own ideas and questioning the status quo in order to generate significant changes, skills that are obtained by listening to others.
"Debate allows us to put ourselves in the other person's shoes, to question our view of the world in a framework of respect. Developing this ability to listen to each other from school and university is vital. In these times of great polarization, we have stopped building bridges, precisely because we believe that we are absolute possessors of the truth, excluding the possibility that value also exists in other voices. Hence the importance and urgency of debating, of seeking to engage in dialogue with the voice of the other," he explains.