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From DZ to Debate: Meet Alex Shklar

Up to 40 hours per week as a Presidential debater. Active member of Delta Zeta. Participant in the revamped CHARGE Program. And not to mention a healthy dose of social life on the side.
Sound like a senior? Think again. Meet freshman Alexis Shklar.

Since early high school, Alexis has been an active participant in debate team. Hailing from Chicago, she went to one of the big-time debate schools and knew early on that it would take her places in the future.

“I knew debate could help me long-term – from internships to jobs, there are all kinds of things I could do with it after college. Like think-tanks in D.C. or making use of the great networking connections. Not to mention get a scholarship for college.”

After scoring not only a spot on Wake’s nationally-respected debate team but also snagging a coveted Presidential scholarship, Alexis was set to be a superstar debater from the start. With half of the team comprised of freshman, she was able to make a bold statement as one of the team’s young standouts after placing second at a major tournament at Vanderbilt in her first semester at Wake.

But everything is getting shaken up now that Alexis made the bold decision to join a sorority, a fairly foreign concept for any serious debater.

“I was a little nervous to tell the team I was rushing. I alluded to it, but never said so outright. Another girl on the team was going to go through it, but she got sick beforehand and had to drop. It would have been nice to have gone through the whole process with someone else for support.”
Given that most people who do debate only do debate (and drop out if they go Greek) and that she’s already in the minority as a female debater, Alexis knows that juggling the two is going to be “tough to balance.”

“But I knew that it was something that I wanted to do,” says Alexis.

Debate is an intense commitment, but Alexis held firm on wanting a concrete circle of girl friends by joining a sorority, especially since being around boys all day is “a little bit difficult,” says Alexis with a laugh.

 “DZ’s president, Meghan Miranda, has been so supportive of my decision to do both,” says Alexis. “They love for everyone to get involved, so they’re understanding that I’ll inevitably have to compromise my time commitments to both. Sometimes I’ll miss a formal; other times I’ll miss a tournament. It’s just the way it is now.”

Considering Alexis’s jam-packed schedule, it’s no wonder that she wanted a way to relax and have some fun. After classes and hours of debate every day, she wanted to be able to wind down and spend with good friends – both the group she found on her freshman hall and the hundred-something new best friends she’s found in DZ.

Though it wasn’t easy to tell the debate team about her new commitment, Alexis assures that that they took the news in good spirits, as they presented her with a “fratting kit” (complete with Purell and breath mints) at their annual debate Christmas party.

Sure, balancing debate, the hustle and bustle of a sorority, and a social life has got to be more than trying, but Alexis keeps it all together by sticking to her life motto (and a super organized planner).

“Regardless of how many things I’m involved in, I go with the flow and see what I like to do the most. It keeps me busy, but I only invest my time in what makes me happy.”

Kelsey Garvey is a junior English major at Wake Forest University. Her upbringing in Connecticut, otherwise known as country club land, inspired her to write in order to escape and locate something more. Writing has also acted as her outlet to dabble in subjects far beyond her my intellectual capacity: art, culture, design, fashion, photography, and music. Other than reading Vogue and Vanity Fair cover-to-cover, Kelsey enjoys frequenting the blogosphere, speaking franglais in daily conversation, and laughing at her own pathetic jokes. Feel free to email her with any questions or comments.
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