An inequity at the National tournament...
Wed Mar 22 09:32:24 CST 2000
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"
> 1. The nonpolicy division was held in a building
> farther away than nearly every other round at CEDA
If I may be so bold as to make some assumptions: 1.) Non policy used less
evidence, and consequently a further distance was no hardship. 2.) It
minimized movment overall to be insulated in a divisional location. 3.)
"Nearly every other round" means those who got assigned in the policy
divsion to distant locations are equally shunned.
> 2. The nonpolicy teams did not get to use MPJ or have
> strikes... They debated in front of a very limited
> pool of judges. I'm not sure how these judges were
> assigned, but I have my guesses.
Gee, I thought that random judging was a cornerstone of non-policy thinking.
You know, access and non-elitism based on judging cliques. You mean who
judges makes a difference to the outcome and educational quality of the
> 3. The attitudes of most of the tournament
> participants was less than egalitarian... I was asked
> numerous times "Do they use evidence?" "Do they just
> stand up and say whatever comes to their minds?" I
> would respond that they just debated without a plan. I
> was greeted with "whatever" and "weird."
No one knew anything about it becuase hardly no one did it all year. It was
a one shot deal for most people. There was no broad based discussion or
explanantion of it all year, why should suddenly the community have all
knowing consciousness about it?
> These things crossed my mind during the tournament,
> but I still wasn't planning to post... and then... the
> awards ceremony happened. The nonpolicy division
> received awards first. I thought that since my team
> had advanced to the finals, that they would get a huge
> trophy like the policy debaters do (I actually
> wondered how I'd manage to fit it in the overhead
> compartment on the plane). My students had another
> vision, though... they said that with the way they had
> been treated all weekend, that they'd probably be
> awarded a bowl with macaroni pasted on it (some of the
> macaroni would spell out CEDA!) Honestly, the macaroni
> bowl I had pictured in my head was bigger than the
> trophies they received. My team took their award for
> being 2nd in the nation and it fit into the palm of my
> hand. When the policy debaters received their awards
> later, and people screamed and stood, my debaters
> turned to me and said "why didn't they stand for us?"
> I had no answer. I had never been so embarrassed of
> our organization in my life.
Repeat the entry phrase, "meet the new boss . . . ," it seems if inclusion
is the key then trophy "size," a little too freudian for me to go farther
on, and other such aspects should not be the primary concern. You will be
able to tell your campus and administrators about your fantastic success.
The real problem is the hegemonic nature of competiton and sorting out
winners and losers. Non-policy will be the same as policy in marginalizing
the less competitive. No one, not even Broda-Bahm, has been able to explain
to me why non-policy does all of these magical things it says it is supposed
to do and still be the equivalent intellectual rigor of policy.
1. It gives access: How? Is it slower? less evidence based? Please explain
how it is less intimidating.
2. Students like the alternative: Why? What is the qualitative difference in
the discourse in a round with no plan and a round with a plan and a
3. It is just as rigourous: Then it will just as excluding in the long run.
What is the intrinisic nature of this thing that makes it "better" and more
"Accessible" simply becuase it is "non-policy"? If it is for less
experienced debaters overall I believe there is novice and JV. And they
have their own "national champions" as well.
Why? why? why? Why is non-policy the magic potion of debate? How will it
decrease our competitive desires and open us up to being more inclusive and
stop worrying about things like community reinforcement of hierarchies and
superficial needs like big trophies. oooops. "meet the new boss . . . "
> I will pause from my ranting for a moment to point out
> that I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS ANY CONCERTED
> EFFORT TO DEMEAN THE POLICY DEBATERS. I do NOT think
> that anyone intentionally tried to marginalize them. I
> think that the people planning the tournament had good
> intentions. Yet, nevertheless, the students in the
> nonpolicy division were marginalized - the inclusion
> that Gina spoke of at the awards ceremony did not
> extend to people outside the policy sphere.
> Now why should anyone in policy debate care about the
> success of nonpolicy debate? I have only one simple,
> but profound reason - because nonpolicy debate extends
> debate to more people. It is another forum, another
> avenue, another option for people to try the activity
> that we all love. Anything that brings debate to more
> people is a good thing!
> And I would also argue that anything that offers a
> team another chance at a National championship title
> is a good thing. This contention will lead to some
> heated debate, I'm sure... but let's all be realistic.
> There are about a dozen ways to become National
> champion... CEDA, NDT, ADA, Parli, LD, NEDA, several
> JV national championships, numerous novice
> championships. Each school winning each championship
> will tell their home town paper that they're the best
> -and what's wrong with that? It will help them raise
> money for their squad and school, and in some cases,
> for urban leagues. So... now Capital University is
> ranked #2 in the nation in nonpolicy debate (our
> University President's secretary was in tears) and
> Kansas State is #1... but we have no prestigious
> trophy to show for it, and we won't even mention how
> we were treated while we earned it.
> I'll end by saying that despite what some of you are
> going to believe, I am NOT writing this simply because
> I'm mad that my team wasn't carried out of the
> auditorium by a screaming mob. I would like to think
> that I would be sending this same post out even if I
> didn't have a team in nonpolicy debate. Regardless of
> what you believe to be my intentions, though, I feel
> that it is very important that the inequity that
> occurred this weekend be recognized and that steps be
> taken to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
I'm sorry the community did not externally affirm your program
enough. But it seems that what is really important about non-policy debate,
inclusiveness, alternative viewpoints, de-emphasis of competitive outcome,
and other things that make it different from evil policy debate seem less
important to you than the communities acknowledgement of your ascendancy in
the hierarchy and the size of your trophy.
> Sarah E. Ryan
> Sarah Elizabeth Ryan
> Capital University
> Debate Coach
> --ONELIST supporter
> "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for
> good people to do nothing" --- Dante
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.
More information about the Mailman