Debate Society Triumphs Across the AegeanDebate Society Triumphs Across the Aegean
Last week the Bilkent Debate Society participated in the 2009 Athens Open International Debating Tournament, hosted by Deree College, a college of the American University of Greece in Athens. Denizhan Kılıç (HIST/V) was part of the composite Turkish team that competed against almost two dozen teams from Greece, Serbia, Croatia and Germany. Six rounds of arduous debating ensued through two days as students from across the Balkans and Europe tackled subjects pertaining to the moral issues surrounding the use of animal products, the feasibility of US foreign policy in the Caribbean, the admittance of former Yugoslavian countries into the EU and the role of government intervention in solving the global financial crisis. The Bilkent team broke into the final round of the tournament, locking horns with very challenging teams including former European and World debating champions and finalists.
The motion on the floor was whether North Korea's satellite should be shot down by western powers, and on proposition the Bilkent team made a convincing argument focused on the shroud of uncertainty over the enigmatic communist Asian regime and how policies of appeasement or negotiation had to be abandoned in favor of military intervention and power politics in this particular case. Opposition benches stressed that military action would set dangerous precedents and that multilateral diplomacy including China and Russia was essential in the resolution of the North Korean issue.
The debate continued for an hour as teams engaged each other in a ferocious discussion, fencing with rebuttals, offering tricky questions, demanding answers and constructing intricate arguments. Finally, in a first for a Turkish debating team competing abroad, the judging panel decided unanimously that the proposition had made their case, and the 2009 Athens Open trophy began its long train ride back to Ankara where it now accompanies numerous other awards that the Debate Society has collected throughout this semester. The team plans to compete in the upcoming 11th Turkish National Debating Championships.
Accident Results in Passing of TRIN Student
It is with great sadness and regret that we must report the loss of another Bilkent University student. On May 6, Gonca Turnacıgil from the the Department of Translation and Interpretation, passed away as the result of brain trauma. She fell on the stairs in her dormitory on April 21. After the accident, she was placed in intensive care in Atatürk Araştırma ve Eğitim Hospital. Everyone at Bilkent News would like to extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends and all of those affected in the Bilkent Community.
Spring Fest 2009: What a Blast!
Spring Fest 2009 was held May 7, 8 and 9. For three fun filled days, Spring Fest took over the grass field between the FMPA and FEASS building, as well as the Odeon. Bilkenters enjoyed the season with a ton of fun. Please see the insert for visions of Spring Fest.
TDP's Railway Line Support Project Visits Çankırı District Town
This year, volunteers of the Railway Line Support Project, part of Bilkent University's Social Awareness Projects, went to the small town of Tüney in Çankırı, between April 23 and 25.
The main goal was to help foster the dreams of students from Şehit Mehmet Demirel Primary School. They organized festivals and events such as vein work, model aircraft making, and sport and game activities. Furthermore, the children received medical check-ups from Bilkent University Health Personnel and were taught about general cleanliness. Volunteers also attended to some of the physical needs of the school. And, beyond the help provided to the school and the children, movies, conversations and concerts were also organized to bring the whole the community together. Then, after full days of hard work and fun, volunteers retired to a railway car they hired from TCDD.
Despite having a limited budget, this project is now in it's fifth year. It is thanks to the help of Bilkent University and various other associations and organizations that it is able to continue. And, it is through this project that over 40 volunteer students got a chance to spend three days with their new "little siblings" this year. The volunteers hope they helped the children realize how precious they are and left them with the message that they should follow their dreams!
RoboBilkent'09: Robotic Clubs Starts a New Prestigious Annual Contest
The Bilkent Robotic Club presented their international robotic contest, RoboBilkent '09, at Bilkent University on May 2 and 3. This was the first event of its kind at Bilkent and it proved to be a great success.
The Club, founded in December 2008, organized the contest with the aim of making the Bilkent community more aware of robotics. It was a huge challenge, but dedicated members spent days and nights preparing contests, working hard on carving, painting, joining and shaping wooden layers to produce fine quality tracks.
Despite being in its inaugural year, the event was attended by more than 20 different schools and universities from 10 cities, including METU, İTU, Marmara University, Gazi University, Sakarya University, Gebze High Technology Institute, and Bahçeşehir University. Technical high schools from around the country also competed, and faired well against their university level opponents.
RoboBilkent '09 offered six different sub-contests. Apart from well-known sub-contests featuring mini sumo wrestling robots, line following robots and slalom robots, two unique contests were offered, considered to be the first of their kind in the country: “Cage Fighting Robots” fought each other in a cage and the “Bilkent Knock-Out Line Following Race” had two line following robots racing each other in the same track. The Bilkent Robotic Club is seen as the founder of these contests, giving the university the right to name them as their own creation.
Contest winners received a total of 14 different awards. Apart from the contests, participants had the chance to attend three different conferences given by Asst. Prof. Uluç Saranlı from Bilkent's Computer Engineering Department, Haldun Komşuoğlu from KodLab at the University of Pennsylvania, and M. Yaşar Ercan from Target Group.
RoboBilkent '09 received positive feedback, and participants are determined to train harder for the next event. Meanwhile, the Robotics Club will continue improving on the event in order to keep the focus of the robotics field on Bilkent University.
RoboBilkent '09 competition categories, winners and prizes are as follows:
1) Marmara University: SONY Playstation Portable (PSP)
2) Middle East Technical University: Philips SA 1922 2 GB MP3 Player
3) Atılım University: Canon IP1800 Pixma Printer
1) İskitler Technical High School: SONY Playstation Portable (PSP)
2) Güvercinlik Industrial High School: Toshiba 2.5& #8243; 320 GB External
3) Gazi University: Canon IP1800 Pixma Printer
1) İskitler Technical High School: Philips DVD3260 DVD Player
2) Gazi University: Philips SA 1922 2 GB MP3 Player
3) İzmir Çınarlı High School: Canon IP1800 Pixma Printer
1) İzmir Çınarlı High School: Logitech X-540 5+1 Speaker System
2) İzmir Çınarlı High School: Samsung C260 Cell Phone
3) Istanbul Technical University: Canon IP1800 Pixma Printer
1) Gazi University: Samsung C260 Cell Phone
2) Sakarya University: Philips DVD3260 DVD Player
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