[eDebate] Reaffirming the Importance of Child Care at Tournaments

Galloway, Ryan W. rwgallow
Tue Nov 13 16:02:52 CST 2007

I agree 100% with Sarah about how great it was that Wake helped with child care and that Liberty and Vanderbilt were also willing to help out in this regard.

Over time, I have noticed more and more people in debate struggle with the conflicting demands of family and life on the road.  And...many of those people leave, at least in part because of family issues.  Mike Janas and Ben Coulter have both cited life on the road after having families as being part of the reason why they left debate.  Others withdraw from the activity, staying tangentially involved and traveling less and less due to the demands of parenthood.

I think we should do more to get people to stay.  I think we should be encouraging parents to bring their children with them to tournaments so they can enjoy family time while at a debate tournament.  Debate should not only be about the young guns judging and coaching the activity.  At Northwestern last year, Bruschke and I tried to figure out how many people over 40 who were parents were even at the tournament.  The list was shockingly small.  

There is a place for parents too.  We need to not allow debate to be family unfriendly.  If we want to maximize the number of people who stay in the activity after they have children, we need to make reasonable accomodations at tournaments.

Three cheers for Wake, Liberty, and Vanderbilt taking the lead on this issue.  

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