USM well represented at Debating Competition


PHILIPSBURG – The University of St. Martin (USM) proudly announced the accomplishments of two students who participated in the Leeward Islands Debating Competition (LIDC) as part of team St. Maarten. They are: Dwayne Griffith, who is enrolled in the USM GED Tutorial program, and Alexandria Baly-Stanford, a second year student in the General Liberal Arts program.

Team St. Maarten participated in three debates:

  • Debate 1, which was won by the team with Griffith as 1st speaker;
  • Debate 2, which was also won by Team St. Maarten with Baly-Stanford as 2nd speaker; and finally
  • Debate 3, where team St. Maarten became sub-champs and Griffith won Best Speaker.

Head coach of the LIDC team St. Maarten was USM’s instructor Roberto Arrindell. He assisted in developing the topics, writing and approving the script. Arrindell also received the J.A. George Irish Oratorical in recognition of outstanding achievements in the literary or oratorical and/or the promotion of freedom of speech among the youth.

In an invited comment, USM Dean of Academic Affairs Genéve Phillip stated that recently she learnt that Arrindell is the longest serving faculty member at the USM. “What is most important and admirable about this, is his diligence and level of unwavering commitment for all these years. I’m happy that he has remained with the USM to contribute not only as the excellent Math teacher that many of his colleagues acknowledge he is, but he has also remained with USM, ensuring that we have well rounded and skilled students who can represent us when the opportunity presents itself, such as this debate,” Phillip said.

“It is noteworthy that these youngsters are very much aware and attuned with issues like the illicit drug trade and child abuse in the Caribbean region, and that they possess the ability to effectively articulate their views on such. Traditionally, we have not engaged our region’s youth enough in these types of discussions, and it will be to our detriment if we continue to forgo the opportunity to allow them to contribute to discourses that have far reaching implications for the political economy of development in the Caribbean,” Phillip continued.

St. Maarten, Antigua and Anguilla Debate Teams will travel to New York to participate in the LIDC Debating Exhibition scheduled to take place at the Medgar Evers College April 7-10. Representing the St. Maarten team will be Griffith, Baly-Stanford, and Charlotte Brookson Academy student D’shnay Matthew-York.

The first debate moot is: “The Caribbean is not doing enough to combat child abuse” with St. Maarten arguing the affirmative and Anguilla arguing the negative.

The second debate moot: “The marginalization of men has led to the breakdown of Caribbean society” has St. Maarten arguing the affirmative and Antigua arguing the negative.

Moderator of the debates will be Arrindell.

According to organizers, this is no longer a competition, but an exhibition of the best talents in the LIDC. The purpose is to showcase the high quality of debating.

The first debate is scheduled for April 8, commencing at 11:30am. The debates will be streamed live on YouTube channel:

While in New York, the debating teams also plan to visit the United Nations (UN) office.