UNBC Club Wins Development Debate

UNBC Club Wins Development Debate

By Nicole Halseth, News Editor

The local UNBC World University Services of Canada (WUSC) committee recently won a national debate for what it thinks the future of development should focus on. The debate was: Youth Voices on the Future of International Development. The debate was held in conjunction with the third annual WUSC International Forum, which was held in Ottawa from 1-3 November, and members from over 80 universities across Canada attended. The event was organized in conjunction with the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI).

This year, WUSC sent five members of their local committee to attend as delegates. Prior to the event, these students collaborated to submit a proposal for their vision of the most important issue of global development today. Their proposals were judged by WUSC executives in Ottawa, and the top three were chosen to debate in front of the entire congregation during the conference in Ottawa. UNBC WUSC’s proposal was chosen as one of these top three.

Their version of the greatest issue of global development today was that it should be a contextually based and collaborative process. They competed against proposals with a focus in education, water, and migration.

During the debate itself, members of WUSC UNBC were able to successfully and eloquently state their case and win over the audience (and the judges). While their proposal was not initially well received, they were able to come back from being the underdogs in public ratings. They won the debate with a landslide 51 votes, up from their original 13 votes, to win by a margin of 20 votes to their closest competitor. Delegates of other Canadian universities at the conference even began tweeting about the debate, with quotes from UNBC’s delegates springing up across a wide range of social media sites.
Though the debate represents a significant achievement for the WUSC local committee, and UNBC as a whole, the conference offered other opportunities to its delegates. Students were able to network with other WUSC members across the country, pool their ideas, and listen to notable speakers on a wide range of topics.
More information on the 2013 WUSC International Forum can be found here: http://forum.wusc.ca/great-debates-discussions-2013-international-forum/.

UNBC’s WUSC delegation has since returned to Prince George, and the members are now focusing on their next event.
WUSC UNBC plans to hold a Bike for AIDS event on 1 December from 10 am to 4 pm, at the Northern Sports Center. Bike for AIDS is a Uniterra fundraising event meant to raise money (and awareness) to buy bicycles and bicycle-ambulances for HIV/AIDS health workers and educators in Malawi. Due to the remoteness of some communities in Malawi, and road conditions, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get traditional ambulances to all HIV/AIDS patients who need them. As such, sometimes the most practical solution is to take a bicycle.

The local WUSC committee will be fundraising for this event from 26 to 28 of November in the Winter Garden. They will have a booth set up, so please feel free to come talk to WUSC about the event, learn more, or donate money to sponsor a WUSC member to walk on World AIDS Day (1 December). For every 2 dollars donated, a WUSC member will walk one lap. You can also stop by the Northern Sports Center on 1 December and donate. Help WUSC reach their goal of $200 to buy a bicycle for HIV/AIDS workers in Malawi. Hope to see you there!

Check out Facebook for more information about our local WUSC committee and their upcoming events!