This past Intraterm, the Quarry Lane School’s Speech and Debate Captains hosted Equity Day for the team. They discussed the importance and often lack of presence of equity or “the quality of being fair and impartial,” in the activity. According to QLS Speech Captain, Prisha Bhadra, “It was originally Aarushi Jain’s idea inspired by similar equity day events at other schools and speech and debate camps, but as a team, we brought the event to life!” Now experienced in the matters of the competition, the club leaders grouped their ideas to form tasks “with parameters that reflected real-life situations.”
By organizing this event, the QLS Speech and Debate team has broadened the ground for open discussion. The students discussed various ideas about gender equality especially on the debate ground, acknowledging privileges, the role of gender in performing, and other ideas to help build a safe and supportive community of speech and debaters. They stepped well out of their comfort zones not in terms of speaking, but in terms of the effort made to understand more about such unspoken topics. The work put into educating the club members and themselves learned much more in the process.
“For me, being at equity day and seeing such an important event thrive and having these discussions about what equity means to each of us made me proud to be a part of a team that values these forms of bonding,” says Prisha. The idea of the gathering itself displays their desire to grow as people into those who they aspire to be. Because understanding the principles of equality and its appearance, or absence, is so very vital to the development of our students into more than just skilled speech and debaters but also insightful young adults. And so as Prisha says “I look forward to continuing this tradition for the next year and years following it, and hope to see the same level of success we saw this year,” we as a school, should not only admire the work of our team but contemplate the issues of equity and bring more to the table for the future.