Hi everyone! We’ll write a proper blog post later on with funny stories from today and yesterday, but I just wanted to write a quick post about something I (Alyssa) think is quite important and think it warrants a blog post of its own.
I’m not going to go into detail about the specific scenario in question (though feel free to ask me personally if you have any questions) but last nights social raised some serious equity concerns on my end, especially with regards to sexual harassment. I think that as debaters there is pretty terrible irony in the fact that people are willing to praise feminism and respecting women if they think it will help them take a first but completely neglect to put these ideas and thoughts into action or take care as to how what they do actually affects people. I’ve spoken to the equity team about the situation and they have been nothing but helpful and have offered their full support behind any action to be taken. This incident is not indicative of Zagreb Euros, and on a whole the tournament has felt incredibly inclusive barring this one event, at least in my experience.
I think at St Andrews we are particularly good at creating safe spaces for debate. Never have I felt that I was uncomfortable at a social or felt that there was ever a threat to my safety or anyone elses. I think this attitude that we have at St Andrews is wonderful and we should continue to set an example well into the future. Equity is more than lip service, and I think we embody this quite well. I just wanted to let you all know that as much as we can talk and debate about misogyny and harrasment, it is still very real. It is important that we continue to make the UDS feel so safe and so inclusive and work to prevent incidents like this from happening in the debating world and the wider world. St Andrews has had an equity policy for the last year but it’s not very well known. We think that in light of the situation it is incredibly important that we make this policy known. We think that Steph, as the IV officer at St Andrews should make an announcement in the Freshers Workshop…all though we are very inclusive already there is always more we can do.
That’s all for now, we’ll write later with more stories, but we all feel that this is something particularly important to discuss.