International Women’s Week: Bethany Garry

Bethany has worked tirelessly to promote gender equality in the union. Her success makes her an excellent role model, and as the leader of juniors she has always ensured that every woman who wants to speak is given the opportunity to do so.

Bethany Garry is a fourth year History and Theology student. She started debating in her first year of university, and after lots of arguing with the men running training, quickly climbed the ranks of GUU debating. Bethany has been incredibly successful at competitive debating, recently reaching the World University Debating Championships Semi-Finals in the Netherlands. She represents debating competitions throughout the UK, often setting motions that challenge university students to think more deeply about feminism.

Bethany has worked tirelessly to improve the inclusivity of debating in the union. She has done this through her work leading junior speaker training on Tuesday evenings. Not only does she train intermediate speakers on how to teach debating to ensure the sustainability of speaker training in the future, she also has different debaters give a workshop on a different topic every week in order to increase our collective knowledge base and develop the workshop presenters. At junior speaker training she has also promoted detailed attendance records that record the numbers of self-identifying women and BME individuals. On top of this, while on debates committee Bethany ran two internal competitions that are now annual events. These include the GUU Pro-Am and GUU Juniors, and both are invaluable for passing institutional knowledge on from senior speakers to junior speakers. This is all the more impressive given that she did this on her own initiative, and with no funding, buying us all dinner with the small registration fee she charged other Scottish institutions.

Bethany has worked tirelessly to promote gender equality in the union. Her success makes her an excellent role model, and as the leader of juniors she has always ensured that every woman who wants to speak is given the opportunity to do so. Bethany also helps with women’s development by speaking with less experienced GUU women at competitions across the UK, recently to breaking to the final of Oxford Women’s. As leader of “The World Almighty Distributist League” in GUU Parliamentary debating she has been an example to women entering a boisterous environment and works with new speakers to make sure they feel welcome and a part of the traditions of the chamber.

She will be sorely missed next year, but as a result of her contributions GUU debating is stronger than it has ever been and will persevere.

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