The UM Debate team hosted and moderated a UChat event in Spanish on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 on a topic that is close to the members of the team and many students on campus. The Uchat titled “Practicas Ilegales de Gobiernos Latinoamericanos” which translates to “Illegal Practices of Latin American governments” initiated a discourse on the corruption of Latin America and the source of why so many people flee these countries.
This chat provided a safe space for students to discuss the exploitation they have witnessed firsthand in their home countries. The stories that were shared were from a gamut of countries including Honduras, Panama, Venezuela and Columbia. A common theme was that informal rules are widespread and those who have influence with municipal authorities are the ones who will win every dispute. Yet, the takeaway was hope, because although the everyday violence is undeniable, there are practices that could be put in place that could mitigate the human right violations.
The UM Debate team plans to moderate additional Spanish language UChats during the Spring semester and the Uchat is open to the public. Currently the team is preparing to travel to The University of Rochester for its first intercollegiate competition of the year. The team is coached by. Participation is open to all full time undergrad students. If interested in joining the Spanish UM Debate team, contact Coach Davalyn Suarez firstname.lastname@example.org or Director David Steinberg email@example.com.