student education in a way that respects the individual’s identity and perspective.
is as diverse as possible and that women on our faculty feel included and supported in all aspects of camp. One thing that we do that I think is helpful is we have our junior faculty rotate through labs so that different perspectives are consistently being shared with students. I’m sure this is not possible in every institute setting, but I think highlighting the importance of diverse perspectives in instruction would be good. How an institute does that is their choice—but we should all be encouraging them to make sure that students have access to diverse perspectives (not only limited to gender) and feel like those perspectives are valued by the leadership of the institute, etc. Tara Tate, three-diamond coach and experienced lab leader from Glenbrook South High School, Illinois, offers: It should go without saying that administrators of institutes should be proactive and cognizant about hiring faculty and staff members who are gender diverse and making sure those hires are spread out through the various labs. As a lab leader, gender issues should be discussed at the first lab meeting. Articulating what gender
ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017
harassment is and what type of behavior is not tolerated in lab is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the institute. For some of the younger students, this may truly be their first exposure to a discussion of this issue. Lab leaders should put on their “educator” hats and use this discussion as a teaching moment, not a disciplinary discussion. Lab leaders should also focus on everything from partner pairings to who they are calling in during lab lectures and discussions. Having a “gender lens” on every type of interaction with the students is important and can be transformative. As a lab leader, are you calling on the male students more often? Are male students dominating the conversations? Do your pairings of partners allow for the women in your lab to feel empowered and not overshadowed? Are the examples of research you are choosing for group lab activities inclusive of female authors? Are women debaters included in any live or recorded demonstration debates you are selecting? As a lecturer, are you being cognizant of which gender you constantly choose in your hypothetical examples? Along with promoting diverse perspectives is the need to promote
Angelique reflects: Let’s be honest: A lot of the more alarming stuff we hear is born in the camp setting when an 18-yearold lab leader decides it is fun to teach their group of 15-year-old students something shocking. While discourse for discourse’s sake is good, we have an obligation to promote responsible rhetoric. The arguments uttered don’t disappear when the ballot is signed; these are the social norms and ideologies we are promoting in perpetuity. Camps particularly have a duty to promote responsible content. An example of this kind of irresponsible and even dangerous content came about for me last year. I coached a student who attended a highly-acclaimed camp in the summer before her freshman year, and they worked on the LD topic, “Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.” When this student showed me her case, I was shocked. While this girl is the daughter of immigrants herself, her negative case was all about how immigrants contribute nothing to our society, they commit violent crimes, they’re a drain on America, etc. It was not just an anti-immigration case, it was an anti-immigrant case. I looked at this sweet, smart, and genuinely innocent kid and said, “Sweetheart, do you actually believe what you’re saying here?” She paused, put her head down, and said softly, “Of course not. My parents are amazing, good people, and so are all of the other immigrants I know. But my camp leader told us this was the best argument, the only one that would win, so I wrote my case that way.” Arguments matter. The integrity of rhetoric matters. Forensic educators have a responsibility to understand the greater impact
Volume 91 Issue 4