[eDebate] "what should we do about parli?"
GatorDebate at aol.com
Sat Jun 5 22:02:23 CDT 2004
My thoughts upon seeing that question asked in an official capacity by a
member of the CEDA government:
1. It's out of your jurisdiction, judge. CEDA can't do anything about
parli. CEDA can't do anything about golf or ballroom dance.
I disagree Matt. CEDA as an organization can investigate why our friends and
colleagues have left the organization to pursue other types of debate and
then see if there were perceived problems that we can fix. It all depends on
what it means to "do."
2. "But parli threatens CEDA." Yeah? I know a kid who quit CEDA to work
for a law firm. What should CEDA do about law firms? Or jobs?
I know there's a fallacy in here somewhere Matt :) It's one thing to leave
CEDA to not debate and pursue other interests and its totally another thing to
leave CEDA for a different form of debate. These folks obviously like debate,
just not CEDA debate so we should find out why and see if we can address
3. Frank says: "For those programs that do parli and Policy, working with
and encouraging your
parli debaters to at least give policy a try can do a lot to increase our
numbers." Yeah, unless you respect your parli debaters and don't consider
them second-class citizens, Frank. How about respecting people's choices
and not considering one actvity a threat to the other? How about we stop
talking "zero sum game" because I frigging GUARANTEE you that that's the
WRONG strategy to use?!?! If CEDA's question is "What should we do about
parli," Wyoming's answer is "we debate. we all debate--it's all beautiful
and it's all important."
Whoa Matt! Hold on there. I don't know how you can extrapolate me saying
that I encourage our parli debaters to give policy a try as showing disrespect
for parli. The debaters make their own choices and I don't force them. I
think many of my parli debaters stay away from policy because they think it's too
fast or too complex or the work level is too hard and all I have done and will
continue to do is ask them to give it a shot at one tournament and see if
they like it. In the past three years, over 50% of our parli squad had done
policy. Erik Crocker did it this year and he really enjoyed it. Jeff Hannan did
it last year and was top speaker in Policy at the FIFA (Florida
Intercollegiate Forensics Association) tournament. Now this didn't stop them from doing
parli and being very successful (which I am very proud of) but I still think it's
good that they gave it a shot. Do you really think that's bad and
4. Many of us don't give a rat's ass about the economic barriers that exist
to full-fledged participation in policy debate. The causes we seek to
discover are material and demographic. CEDA (and NDT) will never, ever,
ever reform enough to solve the basic questions of material inequality that
define and demarcate its ranks. We will seek answers in rate of delivery,
choice of topics, and a bunch of things that have nothing to do with
resource inequality. Well-meaning reformers will seek to water down debate
in order to make it more accessible, because that's easier than
acknowledging that squads with $80G have a better shot than squads with
$30G. Policy debate is classist to the core. Put that in your
this-is-not-a-pipe and smoke it.
Do I think that resource disparity is a problem in Policy Debate? Yes, of
course it is but I don't think it is an absolute barrier. You can be successful
in policy debate with a small squad, small staff and small budgets (I think
we prove that at Florida and there are many examples of squads in similar
circumstances). For us at Florida, the problem we have in trying to field a
competitive parli team is that it is really expensive to send 3-4 teams to
California 3-4 times a year. Parli is not as popular in the east as it is in the west
and the west coast parli teams don't really support the few programs back east
that do it. Our bid to host NPDA was shot down even though we have the
campus size, facilities and hotels to hold a very good NPDA. We host our Parli in
the Swamp tournament every year and get no support from the west even though
we try to support those tournaments as best as we can. The resource equation
works both ways Matt.
5. None of this means I love one and hate the other. My aesthetic and
philosophical preference is strongly towards NDT/CEDA (even with all is
classist baggage). Moreover, the NPDA is as structurally and
bureaucratically problematic as CEDA has been at its worst. But each style
fills a necessary niche on our team, and the richness of intellect, spirit
and character of the people involved in each set of choices precludes me
from seeing one or the other as something we need to "do something about."
Like I said to Terry, maybe your problem is with the way Dave worded the
statement but I don't see anything wrong with our organization figuring out why so
many schools are leaving policy for parli. The Florida's and Wyoming's that
support both are the exception Matt and not the rule. More often than not,
schools just leave policy alltogether. If you think that CEDA/NDT debate is
more pleasing to your personal preference and that there are probably debaters at
parli only schools that could benefit from and enjoy doing policy debate then
how can you say that this isn't an issue to explore?
6. Each program should make their own choices about what to "do" about
whatever. I don't want my CEDA dues going to some kind of anti-parli
crusade (or even a diagnostic effort that defines parli as a problematic
phenomena) and if that's ultimately the direction this organization goes,
I'll just stop paying my CEDA dues and encourage others to do the same. NDT
committee ain't saying "what should we do about parli?"
Parli is not the problem and folks doing parli can't be "stopped" by CEDA.
Folks leaving OUR organization for any reason is our problem and one that
should be addressed through a diagnostic researched effort.
7. I respect Dave Steinberg immensely and consider him a life-long friend.
Dave, I hope you don't see this as a personal attack on you.
8. I eagerly anticipate all the anti-parli posts to follow, none of which
will address any of my arguments, and all of which can find counterparts on
the parli list-serves, further proving a point that most people in both
communities seem all too eager to miss.
I apologize if anything I've said is perceived as "anti-parli." My parli
debaters know where I stand. they know I prefer policy debate because I
genuinely think research based debate is good. They know that I think Parli has put a
strain on our budget (resources are zero-sum when you don't have a lot of
resources). They also know that I never show contempt and disrespect for what
they do. Any debate is better than no debate because debating is good,
fundamentally good. I just don't know how you could misconstrue my original post to
perceive that I was saying I think of my parli debaters as second class
citizens or that I was showing disrespect to parli.
lover of debate
Frank P. Irizarry
Debate Coach/Lecturer/Doctoral Student
University of Florida
Center for Written and Oral Communication
413 Rolfs Hall
PO Box 112032
Gainesville, FL 32611-2032
Tel: 352-392-5421 (Office)
Tel: 386-216-3193 (Cell)
Gatordebate at aol.com
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