Topics as devices for Novice recruiting

Woods, Steve woodss
Tue Jan 18 09:55:29 CST 2000

Hey all,

I appreciate Jason's efforts at collecting numbers that prove on the whole
most students are interested in drugs.  I am not surprised.

However, my non-satiric point is that ANY topic is novice friendly provided
that coaches and other experienced debaters can be enthusiastic and
intellectually stimulated by it.  Debate is one of the ways for people to
break out of their own egoistic concerns and learn a consciousness of
community.  I speak from personal experience, my first contact with the
concept of global consciousness stemmed directly from my involvement in

Counter example to the survey, though not significant in terms of numbers,
but nonetheless many of my "middle class" private school attending kids
HATED the civil rights topic at its announcement, and believed it was a good
and valuable topic by the end of the season.  I have seen it impact their
everyday lives since then in terms of their awareness and fluency in social

I am firmly convinced that ANY topic is a good novice recruiting topic if we
are willing to sell the activity and the value of any issues intellectual

I am pleased that novices have received some voice and concern over their
plight has been raised, but I think a good resolution, regardless of topic,
is a good recruiting tool.  As well, since our squad votes on the topic
choices, it is the voices of my current students that will be represented.
I trust their choices rather than my ability as all knowing overseer to
guide their experience for what is best for them or the activity.


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