hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


May 9, 2013

Whittier successfully debates world issues


“We had to figure out what they did and come up with our own solutions and how they would work,” Gilmore said.

In her three years of competing, Gilmore has taken second place twice as a delegate.

“I learned how to get my point across,” she said. “Representing Iran for nuclear disarmament was a challenge. I had to do a lot of research. You have to go into a debate with a main idea and a plan you want everyone else to get on board with. If you do that, then you’ve won.”

Rogers was one of 20 students on the Economic and Social Council. She represented Egypt and argued for more federal aid to combat child mortality rates.

“I was passionate about it because my country had already passed the millennium goal of reducing childhood mortality by two thirds,” Rogers said. “But the rate is actually going up in all of Africa. I was arguing to pass a plan to find short-term ways to accomplish more such as water purification, installing mosquito nets and having medical clinics to educate residents on prenatal care.”

Not bad for a first debate, she thought. But as she looked around the UMass ballroom, there were several students she wanted to emulate.

“You could tell the students who had been doing this since their freshman year by the way they spoke,” Rogers said. “They were experienced and weren’t nervous. The girl who won best delegate on my council had been competing since her freshman year and she went to nationals for three years. She just sounded so intelligent.”

Whittier’s Model UN team co-advisor Scott Robertson, a CAD instructor, said the team is preparing to compete again in May at Northeastern University.

Whittier offers a U.N. class to seniors and also has a debate team which meets after school and is open to all interested students.

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