Harris, Scott L sharris
Thu Apr 6 23:56:29 CDT 2006

I believe that the NDT committee has exceeded their authority in passing this new rule regarding what participants do in their hotel rooms in the evening.   I do not believe the NDT Charter was ever intended to give the authority to tell coaches what newspaper articles they could read,  what TV stations they could garner news from, or what internet sites they could visit on their computer.  The NDT Charter sets the duties of the NDT Committee as:
Powers and Duties. 

1.	The following rights shall be reserved to the National Committee: 

	a.	a. to regulate the number and geographic boundaries of the districts; 
	b.	to establish a uniform formula for determining the number of teams which the districts may qualify for the National Tournament; 
	c.	to establish and administer procedures for operation of the National Tournament in compliance with this Charter, the AFA Code of Ethics, and the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament.

While the NDT Committee has labeled this rule as a "General Tournament Procedure" under the rubric of "miscellaneous regulations"  I do not think it is a procedure for operation of the tournament.  Technically this provision of the NDT Charter may give unlimited authority to the NDT Committee since they get to write the Standing Rules but I do not think the development of procedures was ever intended to include restrictions on what people do in their hotel rooms.  If one wanted to be technical this rule endorsing workers as researchers and argument writers for the NDT could be read as inconsistent with the AFA Code of Ethics which says that  "Forensics competitors are expected to do their own research. a.     Persons other than competitor (undergraduate students, graduate students, or instructors/coaches) are not to be charged with the responsibility of doing a forensics competitor's research."  The limited research exeption clause does not seem to authorize designating workers at the NDT.  Some might choose to object to this rule as a violation of the committees authority because it explicitly authorizes the designation of researchers and argument writers inconsistent with the AFA Code of Ethics. Article VI section H of the NDT Charter says "In all cases the NDT shall operate in a manner consistent with the provisions of the AFA Code of Ethics."  I oppose the rule for the opposite reason, because I do not believe what people do in their hotel rooms is a procedure for operating the tournament in the first place.

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