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We are The 2015 UWI Intercampus Post-Graduate Debates Champions!

On March 1, 2015 a contingent of five, regal in red, left the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona and journeyed to our Caribbean neighbours down south. The destination was the sister campus in St. Augustine, Trinidad where the annual UWI Intercampus Post-Graduate Debates were scheduled to be held. The debaters from Mona were Donavon Johnson, currently pursuing an MSc. in International Public and Development Management and Wade David, a student in the MSc. Development Studies program at SALISES. Supporting the main men were the Deputy Representative of the Mona Association of Post Graduate Students (MAPS), Maliya Rabathaly, as well as two advisors, Mr Carlton Lowrie, past Director of the Office of Student Services and Development (OSSD) and Dr. Lindy Jones, Student Services and Development Manager(SSDM) of A. Z. Preston Hall.

The first round of debates kicked off on March 2 and saw Cave Hill in battle against the home team. The former affirmed the motion “This house believes university education should be free”, while the latter opposed. The hesitant start smoothed out as the debate ensued and at the end of persuasive arguments from both teams, the mantle was passed to the judges. After about fifteen minutes of tallying and deliberation the Cave Hill duo were given the green light to proceed to the final round. Notwithstanding this, the judges named Shari Ann Henry of St. Augustine debater of the match and gave the team accolades for the obvious depth of their research.

The tables were then cleared for the next two teams. The Open Campus team was carded to affirm the motion, “This house would fund the provision of higher education by taxing graduates”, while the Mona pair took up their place to oppose. To the dismay of everyone in attendance, the Open Campus team did not make an appearance. As defending champions, Mona was given the bye but not without some sweat. Mona presented their arguments against a shadow team made up of one delegate each from St. Augustine and Cave Hill.  As mock as it might have been, Mona came out guns blazing giving all on hand a morsel of what was to come. As the dust settled on Day 1, Cave Hill and Mona retreated to their corners to prepare for the finale.

“The entrenchment of the CCJ in the constitutions of individual Caribbean nation states is but a desperate cry for the resurrection of the federation dream” was the motion before the House in the final round. The Mona team was vociferous in affirming the proposition while Cave Hill retaliated unremittingly as the negative construct. The tension was palpable. The ante had definitely been stepped up from the previous day. As the minutes waned everyone was at the edge of their seats taking in the action blow by blow. At the final whistle the relief was evident and once again the decision was in the hands of the experts.

The wait was nerve wracking but at long last the judges retook their seats. MONA! MONA! MONA! Before the last syllable was out expressions of opposing kinds flooded the room. Wade David was pronounced debater of the match. It was a red wash! The judges lauded both teams and advised that when debating, one must be relentless in the attack. 

As medallions and trophies were handed out it went down as a win for all in my records. The UWI continues unabated in its mission to hone future leaders. Persons who will soar as pelicans - rising to the occasion and above and beyond all challenges. If this competition was anything to go by, we are in full flight.

2015 UWI Intercampus Post-Graduate Debate Champions.

From left to right – Carlton Lowrie, Maliya Rabathaly, Donavon Johnson, Wade David, Dr. Lindy Jones


Written by, 

Maliya Rabathaly


From left to right – Carlton Lowrie, Maliya Rabathaly, Donavon Johnson, Wade Dav

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