Can someone step up and host the Round Robin?
Thu Oct 12 12:53:01 CDT 2000
I am extremely disturbed by the fact that the Round
Robin has been forced out of existence.
While I do not fully endorse an exclusively female
event, I believe that a weekend devoted to discussing
the oppressive climate of policy debate is a
worthwhile and necessary endeavor. At heart, that's
what the South Carolina event was all about... We need
to keep that spirit alive and do something!
Now, I suspect that many of you will argue that I
should put my money where my mouth is... so I will
pre-empt that discussion by explaining that I
sincerely tried... I booked the hotel, started making
arrangements, received my DOF's support and looked
forward to posting an invitation today...
Unfortunately, I received a call from the campus room
reservations office today and was told that they
"absolutely could not accommodate my request in any
way." I grabbed my cell phone and spent the
hour-and-a-half drive to grad. school calling the
local library and other places where we might meet -
So, I have tried... and failed... to support this
important exercise in inclusion at my institution and
I now wonder, is there anyone out there who could host
this event or some form of it? Are there any schools
with tournaments that weekend that could offer forums,
workshops or extra rounds before, during or after
their scheduled competition? Is there any way that we
can find a time to provide a safe place for those who
have been marginalized to share their stories?
Please step up if you can!
You will have my support in any way I can give it!
...and to those who are congratulating themselves
silently on finally making the vocal, "whiny", "weak",
"simple" women of this community shut up... Let me
leave you with one piece of advice - You can slam as
many doors in our faces as you want... we'll just open
the windows and scream louder! This is NOT the end -
we will NOT be silenced!
Recommendations for the Round Robin:
1. Broaden the discussions and forums to include:
compulsory heterosexuality within the debate
community, exclusion of people based on race,
ethnicity and religion, the elitist upper-class bias
of competitive argumentative events...
2. Think of reconceptualizing how we compete:
Don't award wins/losses and speaker points, instead
use rounds as opportunities for judge-student and
student-student mentoring, open up competition to
people outside the University setting (i.e. I always
wanted to debate with my mom, but she's not in school
Sarah Elizabeth Ryan
Capital University, Head Debate Coach
Ohio University, Ph.D. Student (war & feminist rhetoric)
"The starting point of critical elaboration is the consciousness of what one really is, and is 'knowing thyself' as a product of the historical process to date, which has deposited in you an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory...therefore it is imperative at the outset to compile such an inventory."
Gramsci, as quoted in E. Said's 'Orientalism'
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