The Year in Review: Literary, Debating and Quizzing Committee

Members: Harshit Kohli (Convener), Raunaq Chandrashekar, Shreya Raman (Co-Convener), Divisha Mehta, Somil Garg, Arpit Aggarawal, Kaustub Narendran, Aslisha Batheja, Anmol Mittal, Aakansha Bhardwaj

The Literary, Debating and Quizzing Committee continued its desperate fight for relevance on an increasingly crowded campus. Maintaining its focus on debating, the committee largely ignored 2/3rds of its mandate. A singular event, the literary week (dominated by quizzes and the odd poetry recitation), served as the only time at which the committee even tried to create an atmosphere of interest towards quizzing or literary events on campus. Apathy and disinterest combined, however, to ruin the events with several cancellations forced out of the committee’s hands due to a lack of participation.

This combination also affected other major endeavours by the committee on campus. Regular debate practice for the college was completely missing from the campus by the beginning of the second semester. The feeble attempts to keep practice going in the beginning of the odd semester never translated into anything and once the enthusiasm of the first year students died so did practice. This curious pattern of failure has been repeated from the year before, when practice tailed off in the middle of the odd semester, with the committee (comprised of a majority of the same members) almost helpless to overturn the trend. The acting convener, when asked about this issue, spoke about student apathy towards all issues and highlighted the lack of any campus culture towards any issue, whilst stressing that the committee did attempt to invite individuals to practice throughout the year.

The other failure of the committee was a foiled attempt by them to secure funding for a debate. Premised on the idea that debating should at least gain some validation on campus by a college sponsored travel to a debate in Helsinki, the committee attempted to engage the administration in this regard. However, despite the numerous debating accolades and recognition the debaters of the college had gained in the past (along with a healthy dose of pestering by the committee, we were assured by the acting convener), the administration stonewalled the idea.

The achievements of the committee were a product of the quality of debaters the college presented. Raunaq Chandrashekar, along with Sanjeevi Seshadri compiled more tournament wins to their impressive collection, with an extremely notable win at the annual Mukerji Memorial Debate organised at St. Stephens College. Further, students such as committee member Kaustub Narendran as well as Tarun Sundaram and Akshat Aggarwal also contributed to the trophy collection which the college has steadily built in parliamentary debating.

The biggest achievement of the committee came in the successful organisation of the 2015 Prof. Ghanshyam Singh Parliamentary Debate which still is the second largest annual event hosted by the college (after Kairos, the annual cultural fest). With over 300 participants from over 25 institutions, the committee, along with a wider organising committee successfully orchestrated the entire event, making it through the 3 days of the debate without any major incident.

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