[eDebate] Roe v. Wade - program issues

Jennifer Schramm jen.schramm
Mon Apr 10 22:58:30 CDT 2006

I agree wholeheartedly with Kathryn on this one (as well as her  

The argument that a debate topic has to be politically neutral in  
order to appeal to campus administrators is non-unique and yet  
another line in a series of excuses used to justify exclusion of  
women/minorities/etc in the debate community.

Here we stand on the precipice of history...or rather...debate  
history- that is, we are near broaching a topic that has thus been  
deemed unspeakable in the community: a topic that ACTUALLY makes us  
confront our social positions in light of current events that affect  
us here at home!  This topic scares us because it turns us into the  
Army debaters who have to confront militarism arguments, the black  
students who have to deal with race issues in the activity, and gays  
who had to debate DADT a few years back.

China could have been treated as a human rights topic or a foreign  
policy topic, Native Americans could be couched as a historical topic  
or a topic designed to give voice to a people systematically erased  
from the legal history of America, Title 7 could be legal or "womens  
rights"...it is all about presentation to your administration.

If anything, I think a topic like Roe would attract more students and  
more administrators.  From my  most recent experience, law students  
are most willingly participate in debates about Roe or sexuality or  
intimate rights.  They don't like fighting amongst each other about  
water rights nearly as much.  Even as a debater- the Europe topic  
attracted half the interest that the China topic seemed to- because  
China is "hot" and Europe is not.
Students want to debate what they know- and with student support  
comes administrative support. If anything- this sort of topic is very  
public forum-esque- and comm depts and social science depts worldwide  
are probably  more attuned to the relevance of something like ROE to  
debate than they are of some random, obscure fo po topic that they  
know nothing about and can't relate to.

Whether red state or blue- why not endorse a Roe topic? It sure gets  
everyone fired up enough.

More information about the Mailman mailing list