Two years after the suspension of Whitman’s Debate Program in the wake of alcohol violations and allegations of gender discrimination, president Kathy Murray announced in an April 6 email that the college would begin to reinstate the program.
Whitman Debate will return in the fall of 2018, Murray’s email said, and will focus on parliamentary debate, in keeping with the recommendation of an external review committee.
The committee, which includes Whitman professors Susanne Beechey and Keith Farrington, two former Whitman debaters and two representatives of other Pacific Northwest colleges, studied debate programs around the Pacific Northwest throughout 2016, finally submitting their report and recommendation on Dec. 20.
“We are proceeding with the reinstatement carefully and will rigorously assess the program to fully understand the experiences of all participants,” Murray wrote in her email. “Our goal is to create a sustainable program that upholds the values of the college.”