In the name of political correctness, George Washington University is barring men from participating in a debate competition. In April, the university’s Parliamentary Debate Society will allow women and transgender individuals to debate in this gender minority debate tournament. The upcoming tournament is a part of the American Parliamentary Debate Association and the decision to exclude male debate participants was approved back in January by the association’s student members.
The debate team at the university said that they had “specifically pushed for the tournament to happen” and it was approved by a two-thirds majority vote. Former officials of the university’s debate society, which apparently is different than the debate team, defended the tournament’s parameters in a joint opinion editorial in the student newspaper.
Rachel Kane, former president of the university’s Parliamentary Debate Society, and her former lieutenant, Joey Schnide, said that they had to “create spaces where gender minorities can find support, meet mentors and peers and feel empowered by seeing successful women.” They added that “gender minorities” will still face male participants in other tournaments throughout the year.
Yet, men could act as judges in the tournament, if there is a dire need.
The private university, located in Washington, D.C., has made the news in higher education due to a variety of events. Several of these newsworthy events were the following:
- A student activist group clamoring for raising the minimum wage to a “living wage” of $15 an hour,
- Former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” at an on-campus event,
- The institution of diversity training after a controversial racially-charged photo stirred controversy on its campus, and
- An anti-Israel resolution to divest from Israeli companies was narrowly defeated.
George Washington University students’ move to bar men from participating in a debate competition screams unfairness, but in the name of political correctness, the students stand by their criteria and decision.