[eDebate] Alternative to PRP
Tue Oct 23 19:29:32 CDT 2001
Just a clarification in support of Gretchen's memo, though not necessarily in regard to Matt or Joe, since neither of those posts seemed to pop up on my e-mail:
CEDA nationals is the culprit in this situation; THEY are the ones who DELIBERATELY moved their traditional dates IN FULL KNOWLEDGE that they were conflicting with tournaments (PRP and AFA-NIET) that had LONG BEFORE scheduled on that date. I was at the meeting where the decision was made; here are my thoughts:
1) In one sense, the CEDA Executive Council was stuck. Fullerton was gracious enough to be the only school to submit a bid for
the tournament, and that weekend was the only one on which they could hold it. You can't blame Fullerton.
2) In another sense, the Executive Council made this decision in executive session without substantial input from the community.
Perhaps someone else could/would have put in a bid had the situation been clear.
3) I was dismayed, hurt, angered, and generally disgusted by the obnoxious, uncaring, uneducational attitude displayed by many
members of the CEDA council when I and a couple of others pointed out the conflict with AFA-NIET. One of the things that is
killing policy debate is the opinion among so many of what's left of their activity that forensics is only policy debate and that
nothing else is important. If your program isn't rich enough to have multiple coaches to travel both tournaments on the same
weekend, tough shit. Policy debate people need to wake up and open their eyes; the activity is DYING. We need to create
opportunities to join together and learn from each other, not further fragment the activity. Let me be blunt; if I ever had to
choose between doing a "policy-only" program and an "ie/NPDA" program, my administrators would take a look at both
options at tournaments. It wouldn't take them 5 seconds to choose the latter of the two. I'm not alone.
4) All the Reno Conference "Rub Each Others' Tummies While Singing Kumbayah" Conferences in the world aren't going to save
policy debate if it doesn't figure out that just because it calls itself the "elite" activity doesn't mean that everyone else bends
over and agrees.
Oh, damn, there goes my "A" preference rating again.
>>> "Gretchen Wheeler" <gwheeler at acad.cc.whecn.edu> 10/23/01 04:48PM >>>
As the national Executive Secretary of the Council of Forensics
Organization and as the national President of Phi Rho Pi, I was
concerned with the message that Joseph Carver posted to edebate
on Thur. 10/18/2001, as well as Matt Stannards response. Joe,
Matt and I are long standing acquaintances/colleagues and I
appreciate everything Joe and Matt have done to keep policy
debate going in the Rocky Mountain Region. I only wish they had
chosen to contact me personally about this issue rather than use
the listserve method - but I'm sure they was seeking input from a
larger audience. The only purpose of this communication is to clear
up some misconceptions about conflicting national tournaments
and the intention of ALL national forensic associations when
setting tournament dates. My apology to all who receive this
message that are not interested, however, I felt it was necessary to
respond to the widest audience.
1. THE CONFLICT OF CEDA AND PRP NATIONALS
It is unfortunate that there are any conflicts with national
tournaments. However PRP has stayed on it's COFO assigned
dates of April 8 - 13, 2002. According to the COFO calendar,
which every organization's national president should have, the
assigned dates for the CEDA national tournament were scheduled
for March 29 - April 1, 2002. This would be in staying with the
CEDA set guidelines that their organization prefers to run their
national tournament in March. (Formerly, the guideline actually
said CEDA prefer the 2nd weekend in March.) In addition, although
it would be tight, it might actually be possible to compete in both
CEDA and PRP tournaments this spring. The competition at PRP
does not actually start this year until Tues. the 9th, which would
allow teams to finish up CEDA Nats and possibly fly to PRP to
start competition the next day. Several teams in the past have
used this option for both NIET and CEDA nationals. I agree the
students are tired and do miss school, but we have seen students
in the past, not only survive but take awards in both tournaments.
PRP has consistantly worked to coordinate with all of the forensics
organizations to allow for the maximum amount of forensics
experiences for all community college students. To reiterate:COFO
membership consists of all national forensics organization
presidents and reps. The COFO agreed upon national dates for
PRP were April 8 - 13, 2002.
2. "INTENTION" WHEN SETTING NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
The national Council of Forensics Organization has been working
with the various national forensics organizations since 1985 to
coordinate a national calendar that is set at least 4 - 5 YEARS IN
ADVANCE to avoid conflicts. Originally each national forensics
organization provided information about their preferred dates for
their national tournament. Each year COFO meets at NCA to
update information for the calendar, share information about the
happenings of each national organization and discuss issues that
are of concern to all forensics organizations. Over the last few
years in addition to this meeting, several emails have been sent to
the reps from each national organization, seeking further
information to aid in this on going project.
BREAK DOWNS IN THE SYSTEM OF COORDINATING
Admittedly, the system for the coordination of the COFO calendar
has not been perfect for several reasons.
1. Not all forensics association/organization national presidents
and/or reps are able to attend NCA for various reasons, thus miss
the opportunty for face to face communication with the other
national forensics presidents.
2. Even though for the past four years this information has also
been sent out over the email to these national presidents, not all
have responded and with any distribution list - there may be errors.
3. With the constant turn over of national officers in organizations,
sometimes the information about membership to the National
Council of Forensics Organizations is not communicated to the
new officers, thus they are unaware of the need for their
involvement or their invitation to attend and/or participate in these
4. Finally, I find it doubtful in this time of reductions of forensics
programs, that ANY national organization would intentionally
schedule their tournament over another's for the sole purpose of
making their member schools choose up sides, or because the
organization felt itself so superior to all others that it need not play
ball with any other organization.
Having worked with the national officers of ALL OF THE NATIONAL
ORGANIZATIONS for the last five years I can truthfully say there
are only two true reasons why national tournaments overlap:
a. National tournaments overlap because national forensics
organizations cannot OBTAIN TOURNAMENT FACILITIES FOR
THEIR TRADITIONAL WEEK OR WEEKEND OF THEIR
b. National tournaments overlap because national forensics
organizations cannot OBTAIN A HOST SCHOOL FOR THEIR
TRADITIONAL WEEK OR WEEKEND OF THEIR TOURNAMENT.
We have had countless discussions on this subject at the COFO
meetings and NEVER HAS A CONFLICT OCCURRED WHEN
ONE OF THE ABOVE WAS NOT THE CAUSING FACTOR.
5. I am in total support of the coordination of national, regional and
local forensics activities! For 20 years, my school, Casper College
has hosted a local tournament that has offered competition in NDT,
CEDA (since its beginning) and Parli debate (added to the mix
when it became popular in our region) as well as individual events
and Readers theatre. Our only purpose was to offer, to the best of
our ability an opportunity for schools in the Rocky Mt region to
compete somewhere close to home. (Joe and Matt Stannard are
both aware of this!)
As the national President of PRP, the philosophy is the same.
THE INTENTION OF THE PHI RHO PI National tournament is to
offer a wide opportunity for competition in a variety of different types
of events. (policy, parli, individual events and RT). Phi Rho Pi has
been a faithful member of COFO from its creation. Even though
PRP must vote on its national tournament location two years in
advance it has faithfully followed the national COFO calendar in
order to avoid conflicts with other national tournaments. The result?
PRP members have the option of attending multiple national
tournaments. I cannot address the philosophy or reason that
CEDA chose their dates for 2002. Possibly the CEDA president
would like to speak to this issue as well.
To conclude I encourage the discussion/exploration of solutions for
the problems that face the forensics community at large. I
encourage Joe, Matt and others to become active in the forensics
organizations of their choice. (Or as Joe proposes, develop yet
another institution. I wish you luck Joe, PRP has been trying to
get CEU or Snow College to host a national tournament in Las
Vegas for years!) Let the national officers, which we all elect, know
your personal concerns, attend the local and national meetings,
participate in the national discussions and most importantly seek
OUT ACCURATE information about your concerns. PRP has a
debate committee to entertain such concerns. It has a
representative from every active debate region in PRP but any
member of PRP is invited and encouraged to attend. National
organizations are made up of their members and just like CEDA
and NDT - PRP has it's membership vote on all proposals brought
forth from the committees. The best way to activate change within
an organization is to become involved!
I hope that this information has cleared up any miss understanding
about the national tournament schedules and the INTENTION of
ANY national organization that makes the effort to run a
tournament for its membership.
National President of Phi Rho Pi
National Executive Secretary of the Council of Forensics
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