Everyone Participates!

Ideas for Involving Everyone in a Positive Way, Pt 2


Ideas generated by students and coaches participating at the Classic Swing Inclusivity Meeting; transcribed by Jim Hanson


This is a draft and I welcome comments, suggested revisions, alternate perspectives, and additional ideas. Email me at hansonjbnpte@gmail.com



Recruit non-debaters

Watch more elim rounds

Don’t glare at debaters/speakers in elims

Be less critical of new team members

Be cognizant of possibly alienating words/actions in front of debaters and non-debaters

Adjust to student schedules

Coaches should follow-up in working with those showing effort

Create a safe space for new debaters; get scared of high powered debaters

Target non-traditional majors in recruiting

Older competitors should talk to younger debaters

Older competitors should give advice/take time to work with younger debaters

Be nice

Give positive judge decisions

Be kind to other teams, especially younger debaters

Don’t act like you are too cool to hang out with someone

Stop gossip about relationships, especially women, as it creates negative reputations of women

Talk about arguments outside of debate

Provide scholarships and bring new people who don’t have a debate background into the debate community

Have more inclusivity meetings to identify problems and resolutions

Be proactive in preventing ‘winners circles’ where top teams disparage other schools/teams at parties, etc.

Be good about inviting newer people especially first years to parties, discussions, etc.

Recruit debaters that weren’t that successful in high school and make them good in college

Make novice debaters feel valuable; praise all success, not just top teams

Lots of drills for everyone

Support high school debate programs as a part of participation in college debate

Encourage new competitors and jv divisions

Be reflexive about responsibility and shortcomings of being an ally

Recruit hs students from low income areas (be real about drawbacks; when join team, introduce them to people from other schools; support their research desires and connect them with senior level debaters who know about such things)

Set aside scholarships for low income students

Provide online lectures for parli

Be aware of the impact that speech has

Encourage healthy competition

Encourage team cohesion

Take a community wide stance against sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, etc.

More inclusion of community college students (go to local tournaments; recruit; promote tournaments at community colleges)

Promote college debate at urban debate leagues

Judges need to be more sensitive toward community college students—making implicitly and explicitly negative comments toward cc students

Consider debating outside of english

Latinos need to be part of the equation in addition to blacks, women, lgbtq; get beyond black white binary and start talking about the diversity of ethnic/racial/national groups’ representation in debating

Have more real world impacts in debate; ridiculous arguments make people not want to participate

Debate in a welcoming way

Debate can be too stressful/overwhelming; help address that

Increase outreach to increase knowledge of what debate is

Encourage parli’s public policy aspect

Encourage local individuals come to tournaments/rounds/to get involved

Work to change exclusionary practices rather than just talking about the problem

More acceptance of “old school” debate

Be less degrading of teams and events outside the norms of the community

Be happy : )

Create an anonymous forum where people can post about inclusivity related problems and seek assistance in resolving them

Create inclusivity ambassadors/leaders to conduct discussions and research on challenges facing the community

Create a council to implement proposed changes

Create action pairs to address challenges and prevent them in the future

Force affirmatives to support conservative ideals

Judges in junior/novice and even senior need to be more thoughtful and engaged in their post-round feedback

Have tournament sponsored ‘socials’ as is done in BP

Promote the inclusion of community colleges

Be nicer and friendlier—make ‘newbies’ feel welcome

Use underrepresented critics in later elimination panels

Incorporate inclusive rhetoric and behavior as a culture on your team

Report problems to the offender, officials at your college, or the community at large about problems when they arise

Offer free training and workshops for less resourced programs

Actively recruit new community members including new universities and colleges

Share coaches

Free tournaments

Expand divisions of debate (novice and jv) to make debate less scary

Have more social events

Create senior-first year partnerships for some tournaments, practices, and helpful mentoring

Discuss the importance of representations of exclusion and inclusion

Need more diversity of debaters to challenge political, religious, and academic debaters—especially from urban and socio-economically challenged areas

Encourage younger debaters to help build a more family feel community

Hire more coaches to provide more attention to students

Large programs ought to take fewer teams to tournaments to allow smaller programs a chance to prosper.

Provide more culturally diverse food at tournaments

Increase publicity about debate