Sharing Knowledge Through Debate
The 2019 Havruta Debate Competition
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The 2019 Havruta Debate Competition was held on May 10th at the International Concerence Hall of Paiknam Library. First having started last year, this year’s competition had a total of 167 participants with only three teams, Paper-nomad (페이퍼 노마드), Toronheyum (토론헤윰), Homohavrutas (호모하브루타스), making it to the finals.
The competition began with an opening speech by Professor Han Hyun-soo (Division of Business), the Dean of Paiknam Library. According to Han, the Havruta Debate Competition has its roots in the debating habits of the Jewish tradition with the main objective of broadening one’s thoughts through questioning and answering. The Havruta Debate Competition requires students to prepare and share their ideas based on two selected books, which were Regarding the Pain of Others (Susan Sontag, 2003) and Brave New World (Aldous Huxley, 1932) for this year’s competition.
The presentations and Q&A sessions
Each team prepared presentations which were followed by a Q&A session led by the other teams. 10 minutes were allotted for each presentation, and the Q&A sessions were led by three questioning teams, with the team Paper-nomad receiving questions from team Veritas (베리타스), Homohavrutas from Be-human (비휴먼), and Toronheyum from Chalddeok-pie (찰떡파이). All six teams fiercely debated their ideas about the two books, fulfilling the objective of the Havruta Debate Competition.
After the three presentations, time for panels was provided. Various questions were asked to the three presenting teams, creating a vigorous atmosphere where everyone shared their knowledge and thoughts. With the panels also actively participating, this year’s Havruta debate was one that became extended to not only the participating teams but also the audience, who was welcome to share their ideas and knowledge based upon the given agendas.
The award ceremony
It was said by Professor Lee Moon-hee (Department of Composition), this year’s chairperson of examiners, that the levels of the presentations and debates were beyond expectation and that the five examiners had a hard time selecting the winner for this year’s competition. She also showed her satisfaction toward how it showed that although only two books were selected, the participants also referred to other additional books during their presentations and debates. “The Havruta Debate is a new means of adding delight to reading, and I am pleased to see that all teams have done so,” stated Lee.
Team Homohavratus was selected as the winner of this year’s Havruta debate, followed by Toronheyum, and Paper-nomad. The top three teams were awarded with one million won, 800,000 won, and 600,000 won respectively, as well as a certificate. The three questioning teams were awarded participation prizes, with Chalddeok-pie additionally being awarded the Best-question prize. Various prizes were also prepared for the audience, especially those who actively participated in the panel question session. The ceremony ended with a closing speech and photo-taking.
According to Kim Mi-rang (Department of Policy Studies, 1st year) team Homohavratus had long prepared for the competition since its first announcement. As the Havruta Debate Competition is a large scale competition, Kim mentioned that her team was able to learn a lot from both preparation and participation in it. Managing to achieve an outstanding outcome in their first competition as university students, the team also stated that they are willing to actively participate in other upcoming competitions. As for the prize money, the team members have decided to spend 100,000 won to buy gifts for those who helped them and divide the remaining amount into 300,000 won for each team member.
Choi Seo-yong firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Joo-eun
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