[eDebate] And the Elephant In the Corner Is...

matt stannard stannardmatt
Mon Apr 17 18:33:39 CDT 2006


I strongly agree with Mike and Ermo.  We need cheaper hotels, cheaper entry 
fees, and less amenities.  Even if it saves a few schools it's worth it.

To that end, Wyoming will again host a free policy tournament in October the 
weekend after Kentucky.  I can only hope that others will also consider 
radically lowering or eliminating their entry fees, or structuring their 
fees to cover minimal cheap food costs, and maybe framed certificates 
instead of expensive trophies.  Fees of $20-$30 per team are very possible 
in a world where economic access is a first consideration rather than an 
afterthought.

(We host a parliamentary and ie tournament every year with 90 teams and 200+ 
ie slots...we charge $30 per team and $10 per slot, serve a full pizza lunch 
one day and a full sandwich lunch the next, AND have trophies and snacks, 
AND manage to clear a small profit.)

Moreover, a norm of lower fees would either help schools afford the 
outlandish (even if necessary) fees of the NDT, or convince the NDT 
committee to give up some of the pomp and circumstance (fewer banquets, etc) 
and lower its fees.

Summary: We need lower tournament fees, cheaper hotels, and an ethic of 
asking whether the most economically disadvantaged schools in the community 
will benefit from particular questions of tournament planning.  I am not 
suggesting this as a panacea, but it's one among many necessary solutions.

stannard






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