Once again, the University of St. Martin is beaming with pride over the performance of team St. Maarten at the recently concluded Leeward Island Debating Exhibition at the Medgar Evers College, New York. Team St. Maarten was accompanied by Mr. Roberto Arrindell, M. Ed. who also served as moderator for the Debate Moot: “The Caribbean is not doing enough to combat child abuse”. This debate was won by team St. Maarten and USM students Dwayne Griffith and Alexandria Baly Stanford impressed the crowd with their performance. In an invited comment from USM’s GED coordinator, Ms. Micaela Hart stated that she was proud of Dwayne’s accomplishment because she realized his commitment and seriousness toward his studies. Similarly, coordinator of the General Liberal Arts Division, Ms. Patricia Arrindell, indicated that she was not surprised by Alexandria’s stellar performance at the Exhibition since she has always presented herself as someone who is articulate and goal oriented, with great leadership skills.
In the audience was a proud St. Martiner, Maria Benjamin, who saw it fitting to award the USM duo a scholarship of $3000.00 on behalf of her brother Orlando Benjamin. The scholarship will go toward tuition for their studies at USM. Though team St. Maarten did not emerge as winners in the Debate Moot: “The marginalization of men has led to the breakdown of Caribbean society”, they still “performed very well” according to their coach. In the end, the final decision was made by the rebuttal (St. Kitts) and the best speaker was awarded to both St. Maarten and Antigua. On behalf of the group, Coach Arrindell expressed his gratitude to the Benjamins for “recognition by one of our own”. He went on to say “the group would also like to give a big thank you to the University of St. Martin for sponsoring Alexandria Baly Stanford’s trip to New York. It was very educational and gave her the opportunity not only to participate in the Debate Exhibition but also to experience an educational trip to the United Nations”. Other activities for the group included a sightseeing tour of New York City and a culinary treat at Suede Restaurant which specializes in West Indian food. This was sponsored by the St. Martin/St. Maarten Friendship Association which is led by Lee Burnett. The debating team would also like to thank Medgar Evers College for hosting the Hyacinth Richardson Educational Awareness Foundation in New York, with a special thank you to Mr. Milton Lawrence, Dr. Irish and Dr. Steward.