Between 29 and 30 September, the Faculty of History of VSU held the 4th Open Autumn Parliamentary Debate Tournament dedicated to the university’s centenary. It was participated in by 20 teams from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov, Voronezh, Tula, and Penza.
Parliamentary Debates are usually of great interest for students all over the world. International tournaments are held in the Commonwealth countries (England, Canada, Australia, etc.), and many other countries. The first student’s debate club was opened in the UK in 1794. Back then the members of such clubs were children of the MPs, and discussed the same problems and issues as their parents did in in the Parliament.
Today, the debates are an intellectual game. Each team consists of two players whose task is to prepare a speech on a given topic within 15 minutes so as to prove their opinion to their opponents. The position of each team (for or against) is also predetermined, and not chosen by the players themselves. The tournament encourages communication between young people from various regions and helps the participants to develop critical thinking and public speaking skills.
The competition was organised by the Chernozemie Debate Club and the Faculty of History. The jury consisted of the winners of Russian and world tournaments.
The tournament included 5 qualifying rounds, the semi-final, and the final. The results were the following.
- Semi-final – Artem Zimin / Artem Granev (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute) and Ksenia Zyryanova / Andrey Balanko (Saint Petersburg State University)
- Final – Ilia Lapatin / Maria Balueva (Voronezh), Danil Volozh / Dmitry Mun (Rostov), and Anastasia Vilkova / Ivan Bukreev (Saint Petersburg State University)
- Winners – Viktor Lefenev / Dmitry Bogach (Saint Petersburg State University
Denis Sosunov, Vice Dean for Student Affairs and Social Development at the Faculty of History, said that the Debate Tournament has become a good tradition for VSU. The business game format allows to involve students in the current social issues of the country. The participants discuss the most difficult and important problems and try to develop solutions. It is also a good teamwork practice.
“I believe it's not just an intellectual game, but rather a unique education method of developing soft skills in students. This method should be introduced in the learning process”, said Denis Sosunov.