The MVLA team
March 30, 2023
Despite the misogyny that women face in the greater debate community, the MVLA debate team has worked to overcome those obstacles with a student population and mainly female leadership team.
“[Our team] has been led by women for more than 25 years,” Herman said. “It has a strong culture of women who are empowered and have positions of power [to] take the lead and be an image of success for young women on the team.”
We have a strong culture of women who are empowered and have positions of power to take the lead and be an image of success for young women on the team.”
— head coach Julie Herman
The varsity Public Forum team consisting of all female debaters is one example of the MVLA team breaking through gender disparities and inequalities.
“The [public forum] team is just so wonderful,” Ong said. “We have two amazing varsity public forum leaders and captains who make the space such a welcoming and just friendly environment.”
With the fun and inclusive atmosphere that the leaders and members create within the club that greatly supports female debaters, the MVLA speech and debate practices and tournaments are activities that many look forward to.
“The people you find, the confidence that I got from debating, and when parents are listening to me and believe what I’m saying, is kind of magical,” Maya said.
The team’s new Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee is working to recruit volunteer debate judges so students don’t have to hire judges themselves, making debate more accessible not just for gender minorities but also for students from low-income backgrounds. Interested volunteers can contact Julie at [email protected] for more information.