Vicario And Fauzan’s Victory At WUDC, Hard Work That Paid Off

Vicario Reinaldo (middle) and Fauzan Reza Maulana defeated other students from non-English speaking countries in the English-as-Foreign-Language category at the World Universities Debating Championship 2014, Chennai, India. Photo Courtesy of Vicario Reinaldo. 

Students from a university in Bandung, West Java, won an international debate competition, making them the first Indonesians to triumph at such an event.

Fauzan Reza Maulana and Vicario Reinaldo, students of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), defeated other students from non-English speaking countries in the English-as-Foreign-Language category at the World Universities Debating Championship.

“That was actually one of my biggest dreams. After 6.5 years of participating in various debate competitions since I was in high school, I got the chance to participate. WUDC is the biggest debate competition in the world,” Vicario Reinaldo said.

Before flying to India at the end of 2013, Fauzan and Rio had to compete with the other 96 teams in national selection. The government financed the four teams, from UI, ITB, UGM and Binus International.

Fauzan and Rio prepared for this competition since early 2013. “We had various methods of preparation. We participated in some local debate competitions and practiced with colleagues from different student organizations, researched the latest issues and discussed many topics that probably appear in WUDC,” Fauzan said.

“We also had some mentors who are pleased to help and train us on campus, such as our alumni, trainers as well as advisors from DIKTI, Ibu Dora and Pak Rahmat. They taught us about general knowledge, logical thinking, confidence and how to make a persuasive speech,” he added.

Both students also faced difficulties. Fauzan admited there were differences in point of view. They have to be solid in order to be the winner in such an international competition. “We never let those disagreements restrict our discussion process, because after that we usually get the same idea or have the same point of view,” Fauzan — a Civil Engineering student — said.

Since they were paired at WUDC, it has made their friendship stronger and they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. “Fauzan is fluent in English and he is really cooperative. On the other hand, he needs to broaden his general knowledge and he easily panics. When he gets that way, I have to make him relax,” Rio, a student of Industrial Engineering said.

“What I like about Rio is that he is really experienced in debate competition. He has participated in different competitions since he was in high school, so when we discuss a wide range of topics, it is really fun,” Fauzan said.

Fauzan and Rio did not think they would win the competition. They said that the key to their success is the effort, teamwork, and to never give up.

Rio admitted that the team from Warsaw, Poland was their toughest competitor, because their ideas and responses were very good, they were also on the top position in the elimination round for the English-as-Foreign-Language category.

“We learned a lot from WUDC, that we need to learn to be more confident, we have to be more relaxed in each round and we need to be well-prepared,” Fauzan said.

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