[eDebate] Time to Review the Merger

matt stannard stannardmatt
Fri Jun 9 13:16:11 CDT 2006

If I may offer a non-scientific preview of the survey responses I have 

Programs have left for four main reasons:

1. Perceived budgetary expenses of NDT/CEDA debate as opposed to 
parliamentary debate.
2. Decline of regional travel opportunities, feeding #1.
3. Simple lack of interest on the part of their students, tied to the 
perception that the work requirements of NDT/CEDA debate are next to 
impossible for students who either work or are involved in other academic 
4. Theoretical/ideological opposition to the communication practices of 
NDT/CEDA debate (this was not listed nearly as much as the other three; the 
majority of directors who have abandoned NDT/CEDA say they love it and 
wished they could have kept doing it).


>From: "Josh Hoe" <jbhdb8 at gmail.com>
>To: "Darren Elliott" <delliott at kckcc.edu>
>CC: edebate at ndtceda.com, Gary.N.Larson at wheaton.edu
>Subject: Re: [eDebate] Time to Review the Merger
>Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2006 13:40:59 -0400
>The only disagreement I can see in the Cheif's post is the one I pre-empted
>about the merger causing the decline of regional debate.
>CEDA was moving toward an entirely NDT style prior to the merger....The
>merger did NOT cause the decline in programs...Programs were dying and
>regional circuits were dying in CEDA PRIOR to the merger....One of the 
>arguments for the merger at the time was to ARREST decline.  The 
>region was the CEDA version of the Emory/Wake/West Ga/Kentucky etc region -
>if you didnt travel to the Mid America district in the last 7 years of CEDA
>qua CEDA you had NO chance at CEDA nationals.
>I was one of the last people to make the transition (ASU did an entirely
>CEDA schedule the first pseudo merger year) and I was a CEDA officer and 
>VERY active through this whole period.  It is just patently false to 
>that prior to the merger CEDA was this idyllic romantic past you suggest.
>I have suggested this before...Most, if not all, of the reasons debate is
>dying is not a result of the merger...It is the result first and foremost 
>increased travel costs.  In addition, many programs left entirely or did
>Parli because they hated the style of debate that was becoming prominant in
>CEDA PRIOR to the merger.  The style popularized by schools such as Emporia
>(you), UCO (me), SIU at the end (Jack) etc.
>Finally, I have gotten a crash course in the last four years of just how
>hard it is to keep a debate program running without University support.  
>major problems across the board for most schools who try to debate is
>terrible debate is and how many programs we are losing but many of the
>problems we all face are created externally.  My fear is, in our haste to 
>something radical to return to a past that no longer exists, we will make
>the problems worse not better.
>I know I am somehwat of a muckraker in this forum but please realize that
>the one thing we do have is each other...If we start choosing sides and
>dividing up again we are only going to have two seperate, smaller, and more
>rapidly dying groups of college debaters.
>The best thing we can do is SHARE our success stories....How did Dr. Warner
>generate University support, how did the teams with lots of money get to be
>teams with lots of money, how does Jack get support at OU, etc etc
>etc.....How can you justify what we do to administrators
>successfully.....How can you create revenue streams outside the University
>budgeting process.  We may not agree on how debate should look but we are
>resources for each others continued survival.  Cutting off whole sections 
>such resources seems to me, at best, short sighted.
>On 6/9/06, Darren Elliott <delliott at kckcc.edu> wrote:
>>I am working on the wordings that Tim presented as per the Topic Cmte
>>deliberations and dont have time for a long dive into this but Andy's post
>>was an outgrowth of a conversation at the CEDA summer meetings.  I think 
>>has merit.  I do want to comment on a couple things Josh says below.  We
>>have different perspectives I think that are worth noting.
>> >>> "Josh Hoe" <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> 06/08/06 11:17 PM >>>
>>JH:  Sure, I suspect it would be easy to make sure the NDT no longer
>>debated the
>>CEDA topic...just go back to two value topics a year.  That would do it
>>ME:  I agree.  Hypothetically if programs would flood back to evidence
>>based debate would it be worth it?
>>JH:  Not really sure what Andy's argument is....A team can still travel
>>exclusively a CEDA schedule, still attend CEDA nationals only, still set
>>CEDA regional or overall points championships as the squad goal.  What
>>exactly are you saying?  No program is forced to debate at traditionally
>>tournaments or at the NDT.  Any program still has exactly the same choices
>>open to them as they did when I debated CEDA.
>>ME:  Depends on the team doesnt it?  For some the "CEDA schedule" they
>>once knew is a thing of the past.  As regional debate died in parts of the
>>country the ability to travel a CEDA schedule dies as well.  Some programs
>>have the same choices available--not all do.  And I would wager to say 
>>of the CEDA programs that existed when you debated CEDA have gone the way 
>>the T-Rex.
>>JH:  So, whats left, if the above is true, is the topic...and that is
>>voted for
>>by the CEDA membership and written by elected CEDA leadership members.
>>ME:  Not that simple.  The topic is the one thing that unified the two
>>mostly, I agree with Gary on that point and with you on that point.  
>>that was a major factor in many schools leaving.  That led to a decline in
>>Regional debate in many regions.  So others had to choose between leaving 
>>changing their squad focus entirely.  The merger didnt just change the 
>>process.  There are many things it allowed/caused/led to.  The topic 
>>came first.  And the topics are certainly different.  From my perspective
>>they are better.  But others disagree.  And instead if hearing those 
>>we just keep pushing them to the margins.
>>JH:  Guess I am being somewhat purposefully obtuse but for a
>>point...rarely was
>>there really an ideal romantic past and hardly ever can it be returned to.
>>ME:  If losing over 100 programs in the past 15 years isnt romantic enough
>>then maybe nothing can convince folks that we have an obligation to look 
>>where we were and where we are now.  Gary is right, institutionally we
>>really should do this from time to time.
>>JH:  What you are really arguing, I suspect, is that you wish more people
>>supported a less national circuit approach so that there was more viable
>>regional debate all over the country.  The lack of this is NOT the fault
>>the merger...It was happening at the end of traditional CEDA before the
>>ME:  Was it happening on the same scale?  Really?  That isnt my
>>recollection.  Even if it was, CEDA's Natl circuit tournaments are now
>>barely able to make it as Regional tournaments.  CEDA's natl. tournaments
>>were the Jesuit qualifiers.  Now S. Carolina and UMSL are gone.  Emporia 
>>UCO are Regional tournaments.  The Pacific Northwest is down to 2-3 
>>total much less a large Natl tournament drawing many teams.
>>I will conclude with my example from CEDA Mid-American Region/NDT
>>D3.  Prior to the merger CEDA's top programs in this area of the world 
>>SMS, ESU, UMKC, UCO, and K-State.  They all held big tournaments too.  
>>of us really had to travel out of the Region even though a few did but on
>>occasion.  Not to the extent they do now.  The merger brought into the 
>>some NDT powerhouses we never encountered before.  It brought us face to
>>face with KU, Baylor, Texas, and N. Texas.  KU and Baylor also had huge
>>tournaments.  But then the chase was on.  To keep up at districts we had 
>>go where those schools were going all year.  So the bid chase was on.  
>>flocked from the District.  As a result all of those big tournaments
>>decreased in size.  The burdens mounted and yes a year long topic also
>>brought burdens.   Regional programs disappeared.  Gone were NEMO, MOSO,
>>UMSL, Webster, SLU, CMSU, SMU, Central Methodist, Cameron, NOC, WJC and 
>>knows how many more I cant remember off the top of my head.  All those
>>schools leaving meant even more teams now not coming to the Regional
>>tournaments.  And the cycle goes on and on.  Was the merger the sole
>>reason?  Not likely.  Did we do what was necessary to preserve identity 
>>preserve programs?  Absolutely not.  Shame on us.  A look back is not only
>>necessary but prudent and hopefully not too late.
>>Darren Elliott
>>Director of Debate--KCKCC
>>CEDA 2nd VP
>>On 6/8/06, Gary Larson <Gary.N.Larson at wheaton.edu> wrote:
>> >
>> >  Andy's call to evaluate the effects of the "merger" between CEDA and
>> > is an important call do something that is a necessary part of
>> > decision-making. If we're not self-reflective about the impact of
>> > we make, we will inevitably evolve in directions that are less than
>> >
>> > But the final paragraph of Andy's post deserves comment.  He asks
>> > presumably the historically CEDA part of his audience,
>> >
>> > "Do we still want to be a part of the NDT process? Has it paid off for
>> > us?"
>> >
>> >  The irony here is that the "merger" such as it is was not a CEDA
>> > to be part of the NDT process.  It was rather an NDT decision to be 
>> > the CEDA process.  The watershed moment was a decision by the NDT
>> > to adopt the CEDA topic.  The conditions for that decision - that the
>> > be worded as a policy resolution and that there only be one topic per
>>year -
>> > had both been essentially already adopted by the CEDA community
>> > of any possibility that the NDT would adopt the CEDA topic.
>> >
>> > As a result, the topic selection process remains uniquely a CEDA
>> > constitutional function, even if some fret that it has been
>>co-opted.  If
>> > CEDA were to decide that Andy's concern is warranted and that CEDA no
>> > wanted to be part of the NDT process, it would discover that unilateral
>> > disengagement is impossible.  The question is not whether CEDA adopts
>> > NDT topic - it's whether the NDT adopts the CEDA topic.  Besides topic
>> > construction there really is no merger (other than that defined by
>> > patterns and choices to attend one or both of the national tournaments 
>> > a number of schools played on both sides of the street long before 
>> > talk of a merger).
>> >
>> > Given a somewhat popular narrative that says that CEDA lost programs to
>> > Parli because it capitulated to NDT, the real story is perhaps even 
>> > interesting.
>> >
>> > GARY
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > eDebate mailing list
>> > eDebate at ndtceda.com
>> > http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>> >
>> >

>eDebate mailing list
>eDebate at ndtceda.com

More information about the Mailman mailing list