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Kicking off the 2009-10 Season

Although many of us opened the season at Gonzaga last weekend, for a number of schools this coming weekend is their opening competition. This has been a difficult year for many in our community. The new season brings sadness with those no longer with us, but it also provides a new start.

On behalf of CEDA let me wish you all the best for a great season. We are excited to have such a timely topic and one that promises to make for a compelling year of debates.

I also wanted to highlight a few items.

First, the CEDA website has updated a number of items, including our new officers and regions. Remember that several regions (in the Southeast and west) were restructured last spring. A full list of your regional and national officers is available at

Second, we are all looking forward to another great season. If, however, we fail as professionals to live up to our responsibilities there is a new provision to resolve such issues. In accordance with the recently amended CEDA constitution, a Professional Review Board has been created to address allegations of unprofessional conduct.

The constitution outlines their procedures. Any member of the college debate community may initiate the process by contacting the committee directly. The constitution specifies procedures for their review and includes important important about the confidentiality of the process.

The current Board is: Ed Panetta, University of Georgia (Chair) Sue Peterson, CSU Chico and Brian Lain, University of North Texas. We appreciate all of their service to the community.

Third, as a number of folks have posted about in the last few days, there are concerns about this flu season. We all share in the interests of keep our community healthy and we are asking all members to take a few steps.
- Please review your university policies, especially with regard to when students can and should travel and your responsibilities to these and all of your students. These policies will help explain how to exercise the due caution that is in all of our interests.
- Please share updated information about best practices. As Lexy noted, there may be a variety of unintended travel issues that arise this year and we can all learn from each other.
- Please contact your regional and national officers if your university imposes restrictions on your ability to travel. While not likely, we have to be aware of the possibility that our traditional schedule of tournaments may be disrupted.

Each university and team will have to make their own decisions, but we can help address situations where the needs of our member schools intersect.

Finally, and in happier news, I would encourage everyone to keep the spirit of education and professional development that was present during the Debate 'Summit' in Winston Salem this summer. It was a tremendous gathering of individuals assembled to analyze the best way for our activity to move forward. In coming weeks will see the product of that labor in the form of an edited volume (thanks to Alan Louden). We can also support this effort by innovating and sharing those exciting ideas. If there was ever any doubt, this summer reinforced that we have a lot of great work going on outside our traditional competition space - please share those accomplishments.

Travel safe, take care of each other and do your part to stay healthy. We are looking forward to seeing you all this year as we work toward our fantastic conclusion with the joint NDT-CEDA Nationals at Cal Berkeley.